Reporting the news ... not making it
September 22, 2013
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A recent article in the Toronto Star (September 21/13) outlined the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) tactic of 'calling on intervenors' participating in the on-going deep geologic repository (DGR) hearings taking place in Kincardine over the next few weeks.
The hearing is under the jurisdiction of an independent panel overseeing the public's participation and Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) sitting to answer questions from the public.
At Saturday's session (September 21) of the hearings, OPG representatives categorically denied any involvement in the OPP move toward contacting potential intervenors.
Further, CNSC's spokesperson Patsy Thompson, said that her group had in fact "...strongly discouraged the OPP from taking this tactic. We, in fact, encourage the public to come forward and express their views." In fact, according to sources, the OPP had not undertaken their actions as a result of any outside influence.
At the hearings, there is undoubtedly a strong security presence. Everyone entering the auditorium (Kincardine Legion), where the hearing is being held, must undergo a security check where all bags/briefcases are inspected, in addition to a personal electronic check.
There is no doubt that this [hearing] is being considered a very serious subject, not only by many regional residents opposing the proposed DGR but also several anti-nuclear activists who are/or will be attending over the course of the hearing.
While many may be concerned about the heavy security presence, and/or the recent OPP operation, if an 'incident' were to occur, there would be no doubt that those same concerned people would be glad of the security measures taken.
It is also unfortunate that Star columnist, Thomas Walkom, who wrote the Saturday article, chose to consistently use the biased, derogatory term of 'dump' throughout his article when referring to the repository. The negative term has created a 'pall' over the community that many retailers, residents and visitors are upset about.
"These signs (No Nuke Dump) and this term 'dump'," says one retailer (who does not want a name exposed due to possible business ramifications), have done more to harm our community than anything else. Visitors constantly asked about them over the summer. These people displaying the signs say they are concerned about property values? Well, I can tell you ... they are single-handedly destroying them."
While there are many who oppose the proposed DGR, there are also many who not necessarily in support of it but, who are in support of finding a solution that is 'less temporary' than that currently used for the above-ground management of existing low and intermediate nuclear waste, which does not include used fuel ... a matter that appears to be confusing for many.
In any event, it is evident that columnist Walkom is not exercising his unbias and objectivity as a journalist and he would be well to remember, as journalists, we should not 'make' the news but simply report it ... sometimes, some of us forget that fact.
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Monday, September 23, 2013