Minganie sans uranium

Minganie sans uranium

December 18, 2011 17:12 ET

Northern Quebec Communities Demand End of Uranium Prospecting by Uracan

HAVRE-SAINT-PIERRE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Dec. 18, 2011) - Minganie sans uranium, an organization of citizens engaged in the fight against uranium mining in Minganie and Quebec, sent a letter to the Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife, Clément Gignac, to demand the immediate end of uranium prospecting and mining-related activities by Uracan.

Bill 14, which is currently under review at a parliamentary commission, calls for an amendment of Quebec's mining law to include a provision on social acceptability. Both the ex-Minister of Natural Resources, Nathalie Normandeau, and the current Minister Gignac have consistently reiterated that this provision is a necessity.

All eight municipalities in Minganie, a region of Northern Quebec, have already voted in favour of a resolution against uranium prospecting on their territory. On November 23rd, the Regional County Municipality of Minganie also adopted a resolution outlawing all uranium-related activities within an area of 50 kilometers north of the coastline. Clearly, there is no social support for uranium mining in Minganie.

Uracan's drilling sites are located in the area covered by the resolution. This is why we ask that Minister Gignac act immediately and tell Uracan to pack its bags and leave. We will not tolerate more drilling. We demand that the company cease all its activities and move its installations, equipment and machineries elsewhere. If it fails to do so, actions will be taken.

We also ask that Uracan provide compensation to those who have been negatively affected by its activities. For instance, Aguanish hunters have been unable to take full advantage of the hunting season because of the constant presence of helicopters, and this, despite the supposed good will the company has shown in the media. Uracan had also promised to build a fence around the plot they rented from the village of Aganish; they have not followed through on their word, which has affected the security of citizens. People from Baie-Johan-Beetz have said that the company has damaged trails by going through them with their vehicles. Businesses, camping grounds and outfitters have all been affected by the incessant passage of helicopters. Cabin owners have lost their peacefulness. All these disturbances warrant reparation. At the very least, when we are not invited somewhere and we disturb others, we should apologize.

We demand that Uracan leave the region by February 15th, 2012, and that the company inform the population by making public their departure from the Regional County Municipality of Minganie's territory.

In the letter we sent to Minister Gignac, we also asked for a moratorium on uranium mining in Quebec - this means a Plan Nord without uranium. All uranium-related activities, including the transport of radioactive waste on the St-Laurence and the transport by road and storage of nuclear waste in Quebec should be included in this moratorium. We also demand the decommissioning of the Gentilly 2 and the complete decontamination its site and surrounding areas.

This letter was sent in carbon copy to Quebec Premier, Jean Charest, Parti Québécois MNA, Lorraine Richard, Québec Solidaire MNA and spokesman, Amir Kadhir, Coalition Avenir Québec leader, François Legault, the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, Pierre Arcand, the Director of Santé-Publique Côte-Nord, Raynald Clouthier, the Prime-Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, the federal MP for Manicouagan, Jonathan Genest-Jourdain, the Minister of Natural Resources Canada, Joseph Oliver, the Director of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Michal Binder, the public relations person for Uracan, Yvan Loubier, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Uracan, Gregg J. Sedun, the Prefect of the Regional County Municipality of Minganie, Julien Boudreau and the spokesperson for the Coalition pour que le Québec ait meilleure mine, Ugo Lapointe. Along with the letter, we also sent the resolutions of the 8 municipalities in Minganie, the Regional County Municipality's resolution and a map indicating the area covered by its resolution and Uracan's prospecting sites.

These actions will serve as a test for social acceptability for uranium mining in Quebec. It is time for the Charest government to show us it is listening to the population. We await Minister Gigac's response…

Let our request to the Minister be our Christmas gift to the citizens of Minganie. Merry Christmas to all!

Contact Information

  • Claude Lussier