Vocal protesters should be ashamed of what they’ve done says reader

To the Editor and Bruce Power:

Nuclear Innovation Institute

I would like to address the small but vocal group in Southampton that may or may not be gloating at this moment after hearing that the proposal for a Nuclear Innovation Institute has been withdrawn due to their disruptive and, might I add, uninformed protests.

You may have won this argument, but you should not be proud. In so doing, you have earned the frustration of the majority of the people in this municipality, and the disappointment of its youth who stood to benefit enormously from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and nuclear science research and development deriving and growing from this hub. We have all lost an educational gem because of your unfounded concerns regarding parking spaces and an old house, trifling issues that could have been dealt with appropriately, if indeed required. Are you even aware of the high price paid for your lack of vision? You have taken this community an unfortunate step backward. There is no pride in that.

I would like to give you the benefit of the doubt. I would like to think that you had no idea that this was a golden opportunity knocking when you slammed the door, no idea that it might just walk away if not welcomed in a given time frame. If so, then you need to ask yourselves if you should seek to be more informed in future, more cautious in joining small protest groups whose interests may be self-serving or misguided. Regardless, the voice of the majority and the potential underlying benefits to the public should always supersede the wants of the outspoken few. We have all suffered an unnecessary loss today. That is shameful indeed.

I’m left to wonder if this is the same group that opposed the arrival of Walmart in Port Elgin and that of Tim Horton’s and Rexall Drugs in Southampton, the same group that likes to deal in “what ifs”, thereby creating problems before they even exist. I’d be willing to bet that those same protesters, who so loudly shout their resistance to change, currently enjoy the services of all three of these establishments. Then as now, the issues brought forth were trivial and the comments disrespectful. There is something to be said for preserving the past, but not in having one’s feet so firmly planted there that one gets left behind. There is no reason why past and future cannot live side by side. Even the Louvre has a contemporary glass pyramid and is protected by state of the art security.

I admit to being naïve, having assumed that no one could possibly object to such an exciting proposal. I admit to being guilty of remaining silent in my support, assuming that approval was a given. I was part of the silent majority, but no longer. I am not giving up so easily. I am appealing to Bruce Power to follow the lead of Walmart, Tim Horton’s and Rexall, who heeded the majority. You have the heart of the community behind you in support of this proposal, so please reconsider. It is never too late for a second chance.

To the community, it is crucial that we be heard NOW, that we demonstrate our support loudly and clearly, lest we be complicit. Contact Bruce Power. Phone, email, write, start petitions and set them out where you work, show that you stand behind this inspiring, extraordinary project. As a majority, we can drown out that little squeaky wheel. Hopefully, Bruce Power will react to our message.

I offer my sincere apologies to Bruce Power if I have created a monster with the above public appeal, but this is important, and this Institute should be built here.

Marcy Bézaire