April 2013 Bulletin

Public review of Nuclear Shield Law needed

Along with Greenpeace, CELA held a press conference to bring public attention to the federal government’s closed-door negotiations with the nuclear industry on modernizing the Nuclear Liability Act (NLA). CELA Argued that this practice must end and be replaced with a broader public consultation.

We asked Natural Resources Canada to undertake a public review of the NLA through a petition to the Commissioner of Environment and Sustainable Development. Passed in the 1970s, the NLA caps the liability of reactor operators at $75 million dollars in the event of an accident and completely absolves reactor suppliers and vendors of responsibility.

Learn more! Subscribe the Stop Darlington list by e-mailing <stop.darlington@greenpeace.org and the anti-nuke news by e-mailing <angela@cleanairalliance.org>.

CELA launches federal challenge to Darlington refurbishment

CELA and Ecojustice filed a lawsuit on behalf of several environmental groups to ensure the federal government complies with existing laws. Current laws require it to examine whether rebuilding and extending the operating life of the Darlington nuclear generating station for decades will harm Ontario’s air, water or land. The suit asks the Court to overturn an environmental assessment because it did not meet the legal standard set out in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, which is intended to ensure projects are considered carefully and with public input before they proceed. The environmental groups filing this lawsuit include Greenpeace Canada, CELA, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and Northwatch.

CELA raises questions about Pickering’s emergency plans

In mid-April, CELA Executive Director Theresa McClenaghan spoke about the questionable quality of Toronto's nuclear emergency plans in the event of an accident at Pickering during a public discussion held at Metro Hall. The Ontario government wants to run the ageing Pickering reactors, located just 30km from downtown Toronto, well beyond their design life. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission will hold public hearings on Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) request to keep running the ageing reactors on May 28th and 29th in Pickering.

Residents, Mohawks and Municipality demand withdrawal of landfill proposal near Napanee

The Concerned Citizens, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, and a local municipality called upon the Waste Management of Canada Corporation to withdraw its controversial proposal to construct a mega-landfill beside the closed Richmond Landfill near Napanee, Ontario. “All hearing parties – including Waste Management – also agree that the site hydrogeology is complex, and that there is a lack of groundwater monitoring wells near the area of known contamination”, said Richard Lindgren, the CELA lawyer representing the Concerned Citizens.

Presentations from LIEN’s annual conference now online

With support from Legal Aid Ontario, the Low Income Energy Network (LIEN) held its annual conference. The gathering provided a valuable opportunity for participants to be updated on the low-income energy landscape in Ontario. Along with a keynote address from the Chair of the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) Rosemarie Leclair, there were presentations on LIEN’s activities including a proposal for a ratepayer-funded low-income electricity rate assistance program, the OEB's LEAP rules regarding emergency financial assistance and low-income customer service, CELA's review of climate change and air quality issues related to sustainable energy, and GreenSaver’s role in the Ontario Power Authority's SaveOnEnergy Home Assistance Program. Other presentations examined the current status of low-income conservation programs by Union Gas and Enbridge, and Toronto’s Tower Renewal Initiative. All presentations are now available from the LIEN website.

Renovate right to protect children’s health

Home renovations and energy retrofits or upgrades can make homes more comfortable, reduce energy bills, and help protect the environment. But they can also put children’s health at risk from exposure to toxic substances. Download the Renovate Right brochure (available in seven languages) to ensure your home repairs don’t damage the health of your children. More detailed information is available at www.renovate-right.ca.

CELA to work with BUILD Winnipeg on Healthy Retrofits

As part of our ongoing Healthy Retrofits project, CELA joined the Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment to develop new resources about radon. We recently completed a feasibility study for Health Canada to address potential means for building local capacity for radon remediation in low-income communities. Our upcoming work will investigate whether a pilot project can be undertaken in Winnipeg in collaboration with BUILD Winnipeg, an organization that develops community-based solutions to energy poverty and unemployment in low-income neighbourhoods.