Innovation Institute – the Big Picture

Given the contentious issue of the Nuclear Innovation Institute proposed by Bruce Power, we felt it remiss not to write an opinion piece surrounding the outcome as we have been inundated, not with negative but quite the opposite, with overwhelming positive feedback in favour of the proposed project and site.

It was very unfortunate that some residents became very vocal in a most uncivil manner in their opposition to the Institute for whatever their selfish reasons. It is very unfortunate that the tail has managed to wag the dog.

As a result, our community may have, in all probability, lost an opportunity to become a world leader, may have lost the opportunity to create an economic environment that will help our small businesses, may have lost the opportunity to bring high-profile international speakers in to our community and, most importantly, may have lost the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for our youth.

Why?  Because there are those who oppose any sort of change to the community; who would rather see it remain the same ‘quaint’ little town of their imaginations; who did not step back to look at the big picture of how the Institute can provide intellectual opportunities that, up until now, have only been available in large urban centres.

This Institute would be in the same league as the world-class global Perimeter Institute in Waterloo which, by the way sits at Silver Lake (dare I say similar to Fairy Lake?), along with a splash pad for children, a walking path around the lake, the Clay Museum nearby, a gazebo, the Library, residential neighbourhoods …. hmmm, sounds much like our Southampton location, doesn’t it?   For those who want to take a closer look, CLICK HERE.

                            Perimeter Institute on Silver Lake

Bruce Power brings to the communities of Southampton and Port Elgin, ergo Saugeen Shores, support for our local hospital, support of charitable organizations, support of children through events such as the STEM camp for youth {for those who don’t know, STEM means Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics}, support of our volunteer Fire Service and support of many more of our communities’ endeavours, not to mention the fact, that Bruce Power is the largest employer in our community.

Yes, these naysayers enjoy all these benefits but are the first to ‘cry foul’ against a company that gives so much back to the community. Why is that, I wonder?  Do they even realize where the power comes from when they turn on their lights and computers every day?

‘They’ espouse that they are not anti-nuclear, that they are in support of Bruce Power. Really?  I highly doubt it. I can tell these naysayers that every other community in the region is now asking that the Institute come to them.  Obviously, these communities see the intellectual and economic potential that a few narrow-minded people apparently do not.

To say I am disgusted with the outcome, is to put it mildly.  To say I am disgusted with the idea that SOME of my fellow Southamptonites can be so uncivil, is to put it mildly.  To say that I am disgusted that these people gave no credence to the possibilities this would mean for our youth, is to put it mildly.

I can only hope that Bruce Power sees through the smoke that these few have managed to create and I can only hope that our new Mayor and Council will see the possibility of an Institute through to a successful end for our community.