Four Algonquin First Nations ask for NSDF licensing hearings to be suspended

21 May 2022

Four First Nations have called for suspension of licensing hearings for this project: Kebaowek First Nation, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, Mitchikanibikok Inik (Algonquins of Barriere Lake), and Wolf Lake First Nation. 

In spite of these calls to suspend the hearings, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is proceeding with final licensing hearings for the Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF). The hearings are scheduled to take place from May 30 to June 3, 2022. 

The Kebaowek First Nation’s letter to the CNSC  (Jan. 31, 2022) states that the CNSC’s decisions “pose significant and long-term impacts [to] Kebaowek’s constitutionally protected Aboriginal rights,”  and that “The CNSC as yet, has not discharged its duty to consult nor undertaken consultation with Kebaowek before deciding to proceed with the licensing and EA hearing for the NSDF.”

The Algonquins of Barriere Lake state in their letter to the CNSC (April 1, 2022) that: “it appears to us that your Agency’s approach to fast tracking the NSDF hearing without fully and meaningfully consulting affected Algonquin Anishinaabeg communities is unreasonable and falls considerably short of fulfilling the Crown’s duty to meaningfully consult.”

The Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg (April 11, 2022) state: “we do not give our consent for this project in its current form. . . . As mentioned above we also do not consider that we have been adequately and meaningfully consulted and especially not accommodated on this project.”

The Wolf Lake First Nation, In its  recent submission to the CNSC dated May 4, 2022, states “We do not agree with the NSDF disposal mound proposal on our Title territory alongside the Ottawa River. We view this alarming situation as clearly inconsistent with the federal objective of advancing reconciliation. Moreover, the commission bypassing our and other Algonquin communities’ participation in the CEAA 2012 environmental assessment ignores our rights under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 and the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate WLFN’s concerns.”

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