Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation sign nuclear co-operation deal with Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission


Published March 30, 2022 at 4:15 pm

(left) Chief Kelly LaRocca signs while Jeff Forbes and Laura Colwell look on. (right) Clare Cattrysse of the CNSC

The Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation (MSIFN) have taken the first step to a long-term agreement with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) over nuclear issues that affect indigenous lands.

The deal, signed March 18, serves as a framework for the First Nation’s “continued engagement” with the nuclear commission’s “regulatory approach and future policies.”

Put simply, it brings the First Nations to the table on nuclear matters – a key consideration in a region containing two nuclear stations and a wealth of scientific knowledge on nuclear energy.

MSIFN Chief Kelly LaRocca and her Council are expected to provide input on “matters of interest” related to nuclear safety commission regulated facilities within the band’s traditional territories.

“We welcome this enhanced relationship and are grateful to be part of CNSC’s continued oversight of Canada’s nuclear sector,” LaRocca said. “Our Council looks forward to offering MSIFN’s perspective in upcoming discussions, guided by values and a shared desire for a safe and sustainable future for our community.”

The agreement follows deals struck with other First Nations in recent years, including Curve Lake (February 2021), Metis Nation of Ontario (December 2019) and the Saugeen Ojibway and Saugeen Metis (May 2019).

Over the coming decade, Ontario and Canada will make decisions on our energy supply mix, the deployment of Small Modular Reactors, the management of used nuclear fuel and by-products, and our continued transition to low carbon electricity

Respecting Indigenous rights and treaties are part of the process, as there are significant treaty rights related to nuclear projects.

The Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation have expressed strong interest in the evolution of nuclear projects in Durham Region from both economic and environmental perspectives and a desire to be engaged as partners.

“Our Council is proud to expand on First Nation’s role advocating for safe, sustainable and responsible energy generation,” LaRocca added. “We look forward to continuing our advocacy on behalf of our community with the CNSC for years to come.”

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