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Hub Staff

In an overwhelming majority, Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) has said no to Ontario Power Generation's Deep Geological Repository at the Bruce site.

Collectively, SON has over 4,500 members and consists of Saugeen First Nation and Neyaashiinigmiing, the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation. Their territory, Saukiing Anishnaabekiing, encompasses much of the Saugeen Peninsula and extends south of Goderich and east of Collingwood. 

"We were not consulted when the nuclear industry was established in our territory," read a January 31 SON media release. "Over the past forty years, nuclear power generation in Anishnaabekiing has had many impacts on our Communities, and our Land and Waters, including the production and accumulation of nuclear waste," it continued.

Of the total 1,232 votes that were counted January 31, 1,058 voted no with 170 voting yes and four spoiled ballots.

“This vote was a historic milestone and momentous victory for our People. We worked for many years for our right to exercise jurisdiction in our Territory and the free, prior and informed consent of our People to be recognized,” said Chief Lester Anoquot of the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation. “As Anishinaabe, we didn’t ask for this waste to be created and stored in our Territory, but it is here. We have a responsibility to our Mother Earth to protect both her and our Lands and Waters. Today, our People have voted against the DGR; tells us that we must work diligently to find a new solution for the waste."

“We will continue to work with OPG and others in the nuclear industry on developing new solutions for nuclear waste in our Territory. We know that the waste currently held in above-ground storage at the Bruce site will not go away. SON is committed to developing these solutions with our Communities and ensuring Mother Earth is protected for future generations. We will continue to ensure that our People will lead these processes and decisions,” said Chief Greg Nadjiwon of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.

OPG’s DGR at the Bruce site would have been for low- and intermediate-level waste from OPG-owned generating stations at Pickering, Darlington and Bruce.

"OPG respects the decision of the SON community," said Fred Kuntz, Senior Manager, Corporate Relations and Projects OPG in a January 31 emailed statement to Saugeen Shores Hub. "OPG will uphold its 2013 commitment not to proceed with the DGR at the Bruce site without SON support," Kuntz added.

“OPG will explore other options and will engage with key stakeholders to develop an alternate site-selection process,” said OPG CEO and President Ken Hartwick in a January 31 OPG media release.

Any new process would include engagement with Indigenous peoples as well as interested municipalities, read the release. 

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