Original post via Kincardine Record.
Following several months of extensive consultation, a summary of the South Bruce community’s feedback on how to measure willingness to host the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO)’s proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR), which would store used nuclear fuel, was presented to the Community Liaison Committee (CLC).
Katrina McCullough, community engagement specialist with GHD Limited (the consultant that led the study independent of the NWMO), addressed the CLC members and the public Thursday evening.
She discussed the various methods in which the community participated, including virtual and in-person workshops, an on-line survey, workbooks, telephone calls, and more.
A total of 230 individuals participated in the process through one or more of the engagement activities. Participants had a range of ideas on how willingness could be measured, with the majority preferring a public referendum as fair, anonymous and clear. The timing of the referendum, and whether it should be the only indicator of South Bruce’s willingness to host the DGR, were also discussed as important factors.
Some participants expressed concerns specific to a public referendum, including low voter turn-out, voters not being adequately informed, and the potential to cause deeper division in the community. Several other themes emerged through these discussions as well, such as the need for clear and accessible information regarding the process and studies related to the DGR to make an informed decision. The community also stressed that broad participation and engagement is critical, and that trust and transparency are paramount.
In September, GHD shared the draft report with the community. Study participants had the opportunity to ensure that their input was included and to provide any feedback. In early November, the final report, which will reflect this feedback, will be presented to South Bruce council for review. Following that, council will consider what the community expressed and decide on a defined process for determining willingness.
The next CLC meeting will be held Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. Those who would like to receive notice of the monthly meetings can do so by joining the mailing list at forms.southbruce.ca/Stay-Connected.