Safe And Green Energy Peterborough

June 17, 2008 00:40 ET

Peterborough Council Passes Uranium Mining Moratorium Resolution

Attention: Environment Editor, Energy Editor, Health/Medical Editor, News Editor, Science Editor PETERBOROUGH, ONTARIO NEWS RELEASE--(Marketwire - June 17, 2008) - At last night's city council meeting, Peterborough became the 20th municipality to sign on to the growing list of cities, counties and townships across southern Ontario that have rejected the idea of uranium mining.

Peterborough city council passed a resolution that prompts the city to petition the province to initiate an immediate moratorium on uranium mining and exploration in the Otonabee River watershed. The resolution also requires council to request changes to Ontario's Mining Act, and solicit the support of Dalton McGuinty, provincial ministers of Natural Resources and Energy, plus local provincial and federal politicians.

The vote was preceded by a presentation from John Kittle of the Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU) and members of Safe And Green Energy Peterborough (SAGE). Mr. Kittle was responsible for getting the moratorium ball rolling, and securing a number of successful resolutions in other eastern Ontario municipalities. The Peterborough resolution submitted by SAGE was passed by a unanimous vote.

The resolution was driven by the seven known uranium exploration projects underway within the Otonabee River watershed in Haliburton County, directly upstream from Peterborough. At least one project bears real potential of becoming an operating uranium mine. All five Haliburton County municipalities have recently passed similar moratorium resolutions.

Of particular concern is that the Otonabee River supplies the City of Peterborough with all of its drinking water. The Serpent River near Elliot Lake is considered contaminated due to abandoned uranium mining operations. People are cautioned not to drink the water or consume fish from the river.

"The communities and businesses along the watercourse between Haliburton County and Peterborough should also be concerned," commented Roy Brady of SAGE. "That includes almost all of the Kawartha Lakes region."

The Otonabee River and the Kawartha Lakes constitute major segments of the Trent-Severn Waterway, which is routed directly through the City of Peterborough. This recreational waterway is central to overnight visitor activity in the Peterborough area, which includes close to 300,000 overnight boating visitors per year.

"The passing of this resolution supports the neighbouring community of Haliburton that is under a serious threat," adds John Etches of SAGE and one of the resolution's authors. "It also reinforces that we are all connected through the flow of water."

The resolution also highlights that on most private land, the subsurface or "mineral" rights are retained by the Crown. Mining claims can be staked on private property without any consultation with the landowner. Mr. Kittle stated, "The powers afforded by the Mining Act don't belong in this day and age. People should have real control of the lands that they own."

Within the 20 municipalities that have now passed resolutions against uranium mining, about a million Ontarians are represented on this issue. Across the country, British Columbia and Nova Scotia have imposed province-wide moratoriums on uranium mining and exploration.

/For further information: contact John Etches

Contact Information

  • John Etches
    Primary Phone: 705-748-2219
    Secondary Phone: 705-755-1726