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October 13th 2023
The Bloc Québécois has thrown its support behind Algonquin First Nations opposing a proposed nuclear waste site near the Ottawa River, a culturally important river and harvesting site for First Nations.
On Sept. 29, Marilène Gill, Indigenous Services critic for the Bloc, accused the Liberals of failing to heed the concerns of Algonquin Nations that feel they have not been adequately consulted over the proposed nuclear waste site.
The waste site will be developed by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, a conglomerate owned by AtkinsRéalis, formerly SNC-Lavalin. The company operates Canadian Nuclear Laboratories and will be responsible for building and maintaining the waste facility, which will house a large pile of low-level waste such as contaminated protection and cleaning equipment within a kilometre of the river.
“They are worried about having a nuclear waste dump near their sacred lands,” Gill told the Liberals in the House, referencing Kebaowek, Kitigan Zibi and Mitchikanibikok Inik First Nations. “They are worried, but no one consulted them, and that failure to consult is a direct violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”