Referendum on DGR should happen in October

Editor’s note: The following is an open letter to South Bruce council.

To South Bruce council,

You may recall, some time ago, a letter from the South Bruce pastors asking council to bring a quick resolve to an issue that is dividing the community – the DGR (deep geological nuclear repository). By way of petition, an extraordinary one quarter of the electorate are requesting the same – that this issue be resolved.

Some of you have stated, correctly, that a matter of this importance must not be decided by council, but by the people through the process of a referendum (“Referendum on DGR will not occur until NWMO studies are completed, hosting agreement drafted,” Dec. 23, 2020). What you have done in accepting Option 2, is to not commit to holding a referendum at the 2022 municipal election, which is within your control, but defer this beyond your time, to have a future council accept or reject your recommendation, and in doing so have lengthened the process that will cut an even deeper divide.

To suspend this decision will hamstring what would be a normal political debate, of who best represents the electorate, to a solitary issue – the DGR. Too much time has been spent on this already – 10 years. The Nuclear Waste Management Organization studies will never be complete. Borehole 1 results are on display; I have seen them. There is nothing that has been found that will deter them. South Bruce and its surrounding communities will be impacted with the decision to allow a DGR or not. It will be either open to the economic diversity of which we have historically depended, or financed primarily by a nuclear repository.

You must realize this issue is stagnating. Real time decisions are being put on hold. Businesses and residents need to know if there is a future for them in South Bruce. It is time to let the people decide. We respectfully ask that our mayor, deputy mayor and councillors rescind the current motion and let the community put this to rest, once and for all, with a ballot at the October 2022 municipal election.

Doug & Marie Kreller ​