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This World Class Nuclear Innovation Institute simply cannot slip from beneath our grasp in favour of another community.

When first hearing of Bruce Power's announcement regarding a Nuclear Innovation Institute coming to Saugeen Shores, my immediate thought was, "Wow," and I am still wowed by the thoughts of this world class facility coming to Saugeen Shores.

What could possibly go wrong? What could possibly derail such an amazing development in our community? Surely our residents would see this as a once in a lifetime opportunity. My, was I mistaken. I miscalculated how some members of our community could sway such a power house in Bruce Power, and I miscalculated how important it was and is today for the silent majority to stand up and make their voices heard in favour of partnering with Bruce Power. Silent majorities more times than not fail to make their voices heard, but allow me to say this. It's time for the silent majority to speak up. Write your letters of support to demonstrate to Bruce Power that, no, we will not allow this world class Nuclear Innovation Institute to slip from beneath our grasp in favour of another Community.

Looking back to those early announcement days, I will admit I was one of those “on the sideline silent majority supporters” and making the false assumption that nothing could derail such a wonderful addition to our community. I thought to myself, locating this facility directly beside a first class Bruce County operated Museum and soon to be expanded archives building, think of the synergies that could be created between these facilities, shared space, shared staff resources, and shared marketing opportunities. I thought about the economic spin-offs this golden opportunity could create for downtown Southampton and for the broader community. My conviction is stronger today, having seen the recent rally of support and coming to the realization that this opportunity could be lost forever if our residents and your Council fail to act.

I apologize to members of our community for not being as vocal as I should have been as a municipal councillor, and now your Vice–Deputy Mayor Elect. I should have taken a stronger stance with those who opposed this opportunity from the beginning, which in my view were based on fears and emotions rather than logic and facts. I was embarrassed when at an Open House in October, whistle blowing occurred. I was embarrassed for organizers, and for Saugeen Shores as a community. But let's set those embarrassments aside and let's look forward to a positive outcome. Let's send a clear message to Bruce Power that Saugeen Shores is supporting this initiative in a unified way.

The decision to change our community forever was made back in 1967 when Douglas Point (now Bruce Power) arrived on the scene. Bruce Power provides close to one third of our province's energy. How about the recent $13 billion refurbishment program over the next 25 years that will bring new development to Saugeen Shores resulting in new assessment. Bruce Power has been nothing short of an amazing community partner and let's show Bruce Power how Saugeen Shores can and will support their initiative. Attracting a world class Nuclear Innovation Institute to our community is yet another step towards establishing Saugeen Shores as a world class community with world class residents.

To Saugeen Shores residents, the window of opportunity has been left open by Bruce Power for our residents to decide if bringing a world class Nuclear Innovation Institute to Saugeen Shores is important to you. We need to act now or face the reality that this once in a lifetime opportunity could be lost to another willing community, and believe me when I say, there are plenty of towns and cities who would love to see such a facility in their backyard. Please act now by writing your letter of support to Bruce Power. Direct your letter to communications@saugeenshores.ca and copy your letter to local media. If you wish to copy members of council, my email is mike.myatt@saugeenshores.ca.

Yes this will take some effort on your part, but let’s not let this golden opportunity slip from beneath our grasp. Say "Yes" to the Nuclear Innovation Institute and let Bruce Power know that Saugeen Shores is eager to give this centre of excellence the home it deserves. Please do your part by writing your letter today.

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