Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Nuclear power talks continue [Whitecourt]

Nuclear power talks continue in the county
Despite questions from Woodlands County council the province has declined to get involved in the nuclear power discussion.

Chandra Lye
Star Staff
Wednesday October 31, 2007
A letter received from Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) Minister Ted Morton told council that the department would not consider a land purchase application, submitted this summer, because of Energy Alberta’s decision to build a nuclear plant in Peace River.
The purchase application was a joint one that county council made with the Town of Whitecourt to obtain land with the intention of selling it to Energy Alberta (EA). However, EA chose the town of Peace River to house their reactor.
Counc. Dan Pritchard said the decision did not make sense.
"Energy Alberta isn’t the only company out there," he told council.
County Mayor Jim Rennie said the province was reluctant to deal with the issue at this time.
"Obviously it is an issue that divides people and especially it’s obvious to everyone that election time is coming up so probably no one wants to deal with such a hot issue," Rennie told the media.
"Our province will have to step up to the plate when the timing is right for them to do so."
He said that council still intended to move forward with the information process for residents.

"But it would be a shame to do that and find out afterwards that the province has already made up their mind that they are not going to allow this."
"If the province is going to say that it is not coming to Alberta this is not an issue that should come to Woodlands chamber. If the province is ready, let us know so we can move on to the next step," Rennie added.
Feds opt out also
Council also discussed a letter received from the federal Minister of Natural Resources, Gary Lunn. The letter was in response to council’s request to have the public information process clarified.
"As usual, it didn’t answer our question," Rennie told his council.
"We never did find out when the people had a say." He advised new councillors to get used to hearing long-winded responses with no answer.
"They still don’t say what the public involvement means," Counc. Leann Caron added.
She said the contents in the letter were broad statements but did not clarify when or how the public would be consulted.
However most councillors agreed that if the public held a vote the results would weigh-in on the decision the developer made.
"If the community said no it’s unlikely the company would come to the area," Prichard said.
According to Rennie information sessions will likely run early next year.
"We had hoped that it could be done originally in November but I’m not sure that we can do that time frame . . . but we will guarantee it will be soon."
He also said they were taking the holidays into consideration.
"We want to make sure these are held on dates when we know people will likely be home."
Rennie added they would be making the venue assessable for everyone and would likely run busses for residents.


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