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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

OPG to Resume Annual Payments to Bruce County Municipalities

Bruce County | by Travis Jackson  

Municipalities that support the proposed DGR will start getting annual payments again this December after a 3 year hiatus.

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) will resume annual payments to five Bruce-area municipalities at the end of the year to acknowledge local communities' continued support of a proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR). 

Our local communities will receive 50% of the annual payments going forward, beginning on December 31st.
Payments will now continue annually each December until either the project is stopped, in which case payments end, or the DGR is approved, which case payments return to 100% levels. 

Municipalities benefitting from the payments are Kincardine, Saugeen Shores, Huron-Kinloss, Arran-Elderslie and Brockton.

Saugeen Shores Deputy Mayor Luke Charbonneau says that he would like to see the money put into the Town's reserves for now. He says they can't count on the money to always be there, so they shouldn't rely on it but he says it is nice to have money in the bank because there's lots of projects the Town can use the money for.

Manager of Corporation Relations and Communications for OPG, Fred Kuntz says that Kincardine will receive the lion's share because they are the host community. Saugeen Shores will also receive a large chunk, and the rest will be spread around between the remaining three communities.

Kuntz says that writing letters of support, answering questions from constituents, and helping make the DGR a reality are difficult tasks that deserve a reward.

OPG’s DGR, for low- and intermediate-level waste, would be built 680 metres below the Bruce nuclear site (deeper than the CN Tower is tall) in solid rock that has been isolated from the surface for more than 400 million years. 

Currently, OPG is developing a response to the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, who asked in 2017 that OPG update its cumulative affects analysis for the Environmental Assessment with information on the DGR’s impact on the physical and cultural heritage of Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON). That analysis, the minister said, must be informed by the result of SON’s community process.

OPG, which committed in 2013 that it would not build the DGR without SON support, remains engaged in respectful dialogue with SON, and believes both sides are making good progress toward mutual understanding.

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