A group plans to march 800 kilometers from the northern village of Pinehouse Lake to Regina to protest a proposal to store nuclear waste in northern Saskatchewan.
About 30 of them kicked off the march with a rally Wednesday morning in Pinehouse. Fred Peterson was one of them.
“The forests that we have,” said Peterson, “the living we have with trapping, fishing, and hunting, its so beautiful, why do they want to destroy this?” The village of Pinehouse Lake is exploring the possibility of having a nuclear waste storage facility in the region. They’ve been talking with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization – a body that is trying to find a permanent home for spent nuclear fuel produced in Canada.
The most likely site is somewhere in the Precambrian shield in northern Canada. It would be a multi billion dollar project, and take years to complete. So far, Pinehouse is one of a number of regions being looked at. But the village stresses so far, they are just interested in gathering information.
“When you look at the outside world and how it can impact you, says village official Glen McCallum, “there is no way that the community of Pinehouse should lock the door.”
It would take years, and many steps, before any site could be approved. However, the marchers claim they are being intimidated by the village into supporting the project. That’s an allegations McCallum rejects.
“During the nine step process there is no coercion, intimidation, or shoving ideas down people’s throats, ” he said.
The protestors plan to arrive in Regina August 16th. There they will present to the government a petition to stop the search for a nuclear waste site in Saskatchewan.