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Consider the likelihood that the carbon-neutral energy grids of the future will rely heavily on nuclear power. Now consider that Bruce Power, the largest nuclear generating facility in the world, will be increasingly at the nexus of the international nuclear industry in the coming years and decades.

Imagine Bruce County as a hub where creators and innovators in science and technology will gather as they develop revolutionary technology in support of Bruce Power’s cutting edge business. Now imagine Saugeen Shores at the centre of that hub; home to the Nuclear Innovation Institute where these visionary people gather to collaborate, to dream, to create the future.

It’s an inspiring vision and, as of now, it is possible.

For a number of years, Bruce Power and Bruce County have been laying the ground work; actively and aggressively recruiting nuclear suppliers to establish themselves in our region.

These efforts have begun to establish the critical mass needed to bring the vision of a regional, nuclear innovation hub from concept to reality. Indeed, this reality has begun to reveal itself in our own community. Most recently, at the opening of his company’s new offices in Southampton, Mike Dubreuil, managing partner and CEO of PTAG made it clear that his choice to come to our community (over alternatives included Calgary and Houston) was driven by the vision of a nuclear hub centred on a nuclear innovation institute. Other industry leading companies are making similar choices.

The opportunity to work collaboratively is always a draw for innovators. Once the opportunity for collaboration exists in the right environment, it takes on a life of its own; connections, once forged, spawn new connections; innovations, once realized, attract new innovators. However, to begin this process there needs to be a catalyst; the right home - a centre of excellence. I believe that that home can and should be in Saugeen Shores.

I grew up here. I went to school at Northport Elementary and then at Saugeen District Secondary School and, after four years at university, I came back. I joined my family business, got married and began to raise a family of my own. As I think back, I can only imagine the opportunities that might have been opened to me and to my classmates had we had the opportunity to interact with a centre of excellence like the one I have described above. More importantly, it is thrilling to think about the opportunities that might be open to my three sons should we succeed in establishing such a place in the heart of our community.

Now is the time for our community to stand up, united, and make it clear that we want to be at the centre of the hub; that we want the Nuclear Innovation Institute for our community and that we want to work with Bruce Power to make it happen; that we want this for ourselves and for future generations.

As is the case with most opportunities, the possibility to do this will not last forever. We need to seize this chance while it is before us or risk losing it. That is why I am asking now for all citizens of Saugeen Shores, on your own and as part of your various groups and organizations, to join with me in saying "Yes" to a Nuclear Innovation Institute in Saugeen Shores.

Let Bruce Power know that we are eager to give this centre of excellence the excellent home within our community that it deserves.

You can send letters of support to local media and to the Town of Saugeen Shores at communications@saugeenshores.ca.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Luke Charbonneau
Mayor Elect

Editor's Note: Saugeen Shores Hub can be reached at news@saugeenshoreshub.ca.