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*TODAY* may 26th - JUST SAY NO TO URANIUM - Ottawa


Ms Zimmy
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I know some of you are interested...thought I'd post. :)

JUST SAY NO TO URANIUM MINING IN OTTAWA'S WATERSHED!

[color:green]Monday May 26, 2008

12 Noon – 1pm

In front of the CBC building on Sparks Street, Ottawa

(between Bank and O'Connor)

The City of Ottawa is downstream from uranium exploration sites in eastern Ontario and West Quebec. If uranium mines are developed, our water may become undrinkable due to contamination from heavy metals and radioactivity.

The City of Ottawa and 19 nearby municipalities and counties have said "NO" to such destructive operations and petitioned the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec for a moratorium.

Residents on both sides of the river, Aboriginal People, landowners, environmental and grassroots groups are united in peacefully protecting our lands and waterways.

Despite this, the Ontario and Quebec governments continue to give mining corporations the right to stake and drill on public and private land. Peaceful protests have brought a heavy-handed response, jailing Robert Lovelace, a retired Algonquin Chief and Queens University Lecturer, for six months and fining him $25,000.

PLEASE JOIN OUR PEACEFUL VIGIL IN DEMANDING:

AN IMMEDIATE MORATORIUM ON URANIUM EXPLORATION AND MINING UNTIL A FULL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT IS COMPLETED AND AN INDEPENDENT HEALTH AND SAFETY STUDY IS PROVIDED TO THE PUBLIC

AN END TO THE MINING ACT'S OUTDATED 'FREE ENTRY' SYSTEM

SETTLEMENT OF NATIVE LAND CLAIMS (IN EASTERN ONTARIO)

More information: www.kNOw-URANIUM.org

Ottawa Coalition Against Mining Uranium - a grassroots network of concerned citizens working on protecting the greater Ottawa-Gatineau region, including its watersheds (Ottawa, Mississippi, Rideau and Gatineau), from uranium exploration, mining and milling-related toxins.

*Related article: Cameco (uranium) pollutants may be in lake. Financial Times. 05/22/08 Link

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Uranium Producer Warns of Lake Ontario Pollution

OTTAWA — Cameco, the world’s largest uranium producer, has told the Canadian nuclear regulator that its refinery might have leaked uranium, arsenic and fluorides into Lake Ontario.

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Cameco

A section of the Port Hope, Ontario, plant of Cameco, the world’s largest uranium producer.

The plant at Port Hope, Ontario, across the lake from Rochester and down the shore from Toronto, first refined uranium for the Manhattan Project during World War II. It has been temporarily closed since July to remove contaminated soil.

A spokesman for Cameco, Lyle Krahn, said Wednesday that a computer model created for the cleanup, which is several months behind schedule, indicated that the radioactive and toxic materials have been polluting a harbor adjacent to the factory. The harbor leads directly to the lake.

The company notified the regulatory agency, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, about the finding at a meeting last week and now plans drilling tests to confirm the contamination and to measure its extent.

“We’re anticipating that material may have been entering the harbor,†Mr. Krahn said, adding that Cameco did not know how long it would take to confirm any possible pollution.

A spokesman for the agency, Aurèle Gervais, said: “The Port Hope UF6 plant matter has been ongoing for some time and the harbor issue is a recent development,†using the chemical formula for uranium hexafluoride.

In a background paper prepared for the agency’s commissioners last week, its staff concluded that the potential remained for continued water pollution from the plant.

Cameco in general and the aging Port Hope refinery, which transforms mined uranium into forms suitable for electrical power reactors, have long been targets of environmental groups and the regulatory agency.

After a flood last year closed one of the company’s mines, which produces about 10 percent of the world’s uranium, Linda J. Keen, then the head of the regulatory agency, said her commissioners and staff had a “lack of confidence†in Cameco and its management.

Gordon Edwards, the president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, an environmental group in Montreal, said that contamination of the lake had been assumed, given the plant’s age, history and location.

“There’s a long history of contamination at Port Hope,†he said. “The whole siting of this refinery is absurd. It’s right in the center of town, it’s on flood plain and right on the lakefront.â€

The plant was opened in the 1930s by Eldorado Mining and Refining to process radium and has undergone several cleanups.

The most recent effort began in July when a construction project at the factory uncovered soil contamination that led to the plant’s closing. At the time, the company said that the shutdown and cleanup would take about two months. Mr. Krahn said the 18 million-Canadian-dollar project, which involves removing soil under the plant and constructing a leakproof floor, will be finished by the third quarter.

If drilling confirms lake pollution, Mr. Krahn said that Cameco did not expect that would delay the plant’s reopening.

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Anti-mining protesters freed

May 29, 2008 04:30 AM

Gagandeep Ghuman

staff reporter

A tense courtroom erupted with applause when an Ontario Court of Appeal judge released native leader Bob Lovelace and six members of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) yesterday.

"You are a free man, my friend," said Sam McKay, one of the released KI members to Lovelace.

"You too, you are a free man," Lovelace said smiling.

The appeals court reduced the sentence to the 100 days he had spent in jail and scrapped a $25,000 fine on Lovelace, 60, leader of Ardoch Algonquin First Nation and a professor at Queen's University.

On Feb. 15, Lovelace was sentenced to six months for protesting uranium mining on traditional Ardoch land. On March 17, six KI leaders were sentenced to six months after they violated an injunction, protesting against drilling for platinum on traditional land north of Thunder Bay.

The Ontario Mining Act, passed in 1873, is based on a free entry system. Anyone 18 or older can get a prospector's licence and stake mineral claims on any land in Ontario. Lovelace said the mining act has no provisions for aboriginal people and the government has to understand native people's concerns.

"I want Ontario and Canada and other provinces to look at these laws and see how embedded colonialism is in these laws," Lovelace said.

Chris Reid, the native groups' lawyer, said until the government makes a serious effort to talk to the community, people will keep going to jail since native leaders have made it clear they won't let mining companies operate on their land. "They should sit down and negotiate with the community instead of just treating them as criminals," Reid said.

Asked if he would block the mining again, Lovelace said he would protect his land."If you don't have the right to say, `No,' you have no right at all," he said.

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There are more recent articles....but..

Time to update Ontario's Mining Act

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OTTAWA — The KI-6 may not be household names in Canada, but the six imprisoned residents from the First Nations community of Kitchenuhamaykoosib Inninuwug in Northern Ontario may well force the provincial government to finally update its 135-year-old Mining Act.

“The Mining Act, as it is currently written, is not in keeping with our standards and expectations and values that we share today,†Mr. McGuinty said this week.

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