Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 25/4/2018 (840 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Canada’s energy plan is dreadfully tainted by the stain of oil and the contamination of nuclear power.
Our beleaguered minster of natural resources, who is responsible for this vague and vacillating vision, is trying to persuade the public that he advocates a clean and green energy future for Canada.
The $2.2 billion to stimulate "clean-tech" energy development from this budget is being tossed around in a shotgun approach.
It is clear that the government of British Columbia and members of our chamber of sober second thought aren’t satisfied with these federal meanderings.
In fact, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr’s briefings to senators about the Kinder Morgan pipeline were characterized as being far from substantial.
Two senators went so far as to accuse Carr of being "unhelpful" in his explanations and of "blaming others."
Straight answers appear to be hard to come by.
Although there have been a number of positive renewable initiatives developed under his auspices, it has become evident that the natural resources department does not have a clear path forward following the principles of renewable and sustainable energy development.
These are the very ideals our prime minister advocated for Canada at the Paris Climate Summit.
Carr’s department has launched a website with the acronym NICE: Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy. It’s aimed at involving youth and women leaders in planning for a nuclear future.
Nuclear power generation, however, is neither the future, nor clean.
This energy dinosaur has left us with nuclear waste full of insidious poisons that threaten our environment for millennia.
A large tract of land in Manitoba is being designated for just this purpose.
Essentially the reactor site at Pinawa will be filled with concrete and become a dead zone, and if the concrete fails and these poisons are not contained, they stand to contaminate the Winnipeg River and all that exists downstream.
The new cheap plan to decommission the site was so poorly put together by Carr’s government contractors that it was slammed by scientists and environmentalists alike and sent back to the drawing board.
The federal regulators are about to grant the same subcontractors a year’s extension to their licence in May by shortcutting the renewal procedure and eliminating public input.
This so-called "challenge" Natural Resources is promoting has been initiated in conjunction with an organization called the Clean Energy Ministerial, which features new energy ideas from around the world, but conspicuously does not have the word nuclear anywhere on its website.
Their spokesman, Christian Zinglersen, made it very clear when questioned about this position: "I think it is difficult to find scenarios which point to massive decarbonization efforts in the decades ahead that do not include a substantial share of nuclear power in the global power mix."
He lauds Canada for hosting the CEM Ministerial meeting in 2019 and also views nuclear as a "clean" source of energy.
Carr, at a constituency get-together in a local community centre, seemed to be unaware of this initiative developed by the staff of natural resources.
He kept insisting that Canada is following a clean energy mix but, when pressed, was not able to actually associate the words "clean" and "nuclear" together because as we all know Canada’s nuclear industry has not solved its waste problem, which befouls its operations.
The plans for a new prototype nuclear reactor in Manitoba, the futile attempt to sell reactors abroad and the sheer gall of policy makers around the world to hide their nuclear aspirations behind the words "clean energy" is an attempt to hoodwink the public.
We need a federal plan where our carbon taxes go toward the future, a future where our economy is based on renewable, sustainable and legitimately clean sources of energy.
Dave Taylor teaches at the University of Winnipeg and has published many articles on the nuclear industry.
The Winnipeg Free Press invites you to share your opinion on this story in a letter to the editor. A selection of letters to the editor are published daily.
Letters must include the writer’s full name, address, and a daytime phone number. Letters are edited for length and clarity.