Steam Generators: Letters to politicians

** A bracing quotation you can use (I didn't; didn't have it then! But you can use it!)

“The risks of transporting deadly nuclear waste, the environmental justice impacts and the long-term health effects are untenable…We cannot afford to be silent on these important issues.” - James Cromwell

(letter below sent via email on Nov. 25/10)

Hello Canada (& Ontario's) Environment Ministers, Natural Resources Minister, Peterborough-area MP, Ontario Premier McGuinty, & Critics:

I am sending to you 2 letters I've written as "interventions" to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission regarding Bruce Power's proposed shipment of 16 retired, radioactive steam generators through the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway & across the Atlantic Ocean to Sweden.

I think as caretakers of Ontario's/Canada's environment & natural resources, it's important that you be in touch with the plan the CNSC's staff is backing.

I am - along with many, many other individuals in both Canada & the U.S., First Nations communities, municipalities & mayors - even 7 U.S. senators - very firmly opposed to this plan. There is so much wrong with the plan, it took 80 intervenors to articulate the numerous reasons why it must not be allowed to "fly."

In my first letter, I raise the very significant but not well or widely understood issue of global metal supplies becoming contaminated by radioactive materials. Do you wish to have your own children or grandchildren exposed to radioactive materials in the zippers of their clothing - or in braces, inside their mouths? I didn't think so!

Therefore, we have to pay attention to what Bruce Power is actually proposing to do. It is by no means a plan that is "good for the environment."

Please read these letters & understand that the opposition to this plain is no knee-jerk pro or anti-nuclear matter. Nor is it a partisan issue.

It is a critical issue that affects not just all Canadians, but everyone on the planet!

I am counting on you to ensure that Bruce Power's plan is halted. It must be very, very carefully examined if it is to move ahead. There is no rush on this! It is far too important a matter to be rushed, or treated lightly.

Thank you for your consideration of this very serious matter.


Janet McNeill

This letter was sent (using the Subject Line Constituent Concern: Steam Generator Shipments, CNSC) to:

  • John Baird (then federal minister of Environment) <>
  • Current Env. Minister is Peter Kent <>
  • Christian Paradis (federal minister of Natural Resources) <>
  • Gerard Kennedy (federal Liberal member of parliament) <>
  • Nathan Cullen (NDP federal; vice-chair Nat. Resources Cttee) <>
  • Linda Duncan (NDP; Env. Committee) <>
  • Bernard Bigras (Bloc Quebecois; Env. Committee) <>
  • Dean DelMastro (my member of Parliament) <>
  • Dalton McGuinty (Premier of Ontario) <>
  • John Wilkinson (Ont. Min. of Environment) <>
  • L. Jeffrey (Ont. Minister of Natural Resources) <>
  • Jerry Ouellette (Provincial Conservative Natural Resources critic) <>
  • Howard Hampton (Prov. NDP Natural Resources critic) <>
  • Toby Barrett (Provincial Conservative Env. critic) <>
  • Peter Tabuns (Prov. NDP Env. critic) <>

I see now I actually missed copying my member of provincial parliament; eek it was a lot of work tracking down all those names, positions & email addresses!?

I suspect it's about time for more letters to politicians. Please send some yourself!

To find your provincial MPP (in Ontario) go here

To find federal MPs, go here (note: if you scroll down, you will find them all, listed alphabetically).

Also of relevance: You may very well get caught up in a lively game of "pass the buck." This is a favoured sport among politicians. Federal ones will tell you it's a provincial matter. Provincial ones will tell you it's federal. Or one of them will say it's a municipal matter (depending on the issue. In the past, pesticides were frequently made a political football, for example...). Current case in point: Ontario's Environmental Commissioner is refusing to take a role in this matter, claiming it is a federal responsibility. Yet it is OPG (Ontario Power Generation) that "owns" the Bruce Power site & uses the energy generated there. And we Ontarians presumably basically "own" the nuclear wastes created there. The refusal of our Env. Commissioner Gord Miller to weigh into this fray sure sounds like buck-passing to me!! I think some letters are needed about this!!! (contact him at: Or call his office!! 416-325-3377 / 1-800-701-6454. Make some  noise!!)

These radioactive steam generators cross all political boundaries! Bruce Power may be licensed federally through the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, but it sells its power through Ontario Power Generation (& through OPG, we Ontarians basically "own" this waste, apparently). Its plan to ship radioactive steam generators very much affects municipalities (& hence the mayors of many municipalities are saying "No thanks!")

So we all need to squawk about this at all levels of the political landscape.

For sure, it is crucial to tell our federal Members of Parliament our views on this matter!!!


P.S. On March 8th & 10th, members of the federal Natural Resources Committee will be hearing about the steam generator issue. Here is the Web site of that committee. To write to them about this issue (& please, please, please do!!), send it to <>

P.P.S. Many years of activism taught me to send my letters to politicians (& in some cases, letters to the editor) far & wide. I learned in my small town to make 8 copies of a letter I wanted the whole Council to see - & not take the chance that the mayor would not pass my concerns along. This lesson continues to apply. Send your concerns to as many politicians - federal, provincial, municipal if you wish - & increase your chances of having them actually pay attention!

P.P.P.S. All steam generator-related posts on this blog are listed & linked here

P.S. # 4: My latest letter to politicians is here