The NWMO Invites Public Comment on Wabigoon Lake – Ignace Area Summary Baseline Report

by ahnationtalk on May 15, 202448 Views

The Social Cultural, Economic, Health, and Indigenous Peoples Baseline Studies Preliminary Summary Report for Engagement Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation – Ignace Area report is part of the NWMO’s ongoing research in the lead up to selecting a site for a deep geological repository for the safe, long-term storage of Canada’s used nuclear fuel. The NWMO would like feedback to ensure that the information is a realistic description of conditions in the area.

The report is an overview of three larger technical reports and describes the existing conditions of local and regional study areas based on extensive research. Working with communities and regional organizations, the NWMO collected data to give us insights into current social, cultural, economic and health conditions. This data will help determine the extent of the potential changes the project could bring to the communities if the repository is located in northwest Ontario.

“Ongoing community input is an essential part of our approach, and we encourage community members to review the report and share their comments,” said Charlene Easton, Manager Responsible for Socio-Economics Studies at the NWMO.The summary report provides a snapshot of baseline conditions, which are detailed in a 1,200+ page technical report which would support a future regulatory process under the Impact Assessment Act.

Pillars of the study that are highlighted in the report include:

  • Social: The natural beauty of the area and the easy access to land and resource use activities are the biggest draws to the area for residents and visitors. Like other small remote communities, youth retention is difficult, as they go away for post-secondary education and to look for employment opportunities.
  • Economic: In general, incomes are higher and property values are lower in the local study area compared to northwestern Ontario, which contributes to affordability. In the smaller communities in the area, the cost of food is higher and there are fewer products and services to choose from compared to larger population centres.
  • Health: Access to appropriate and continuous health services is influenced by the rural and northern location of communities. The availability of physicians, combined with the availability of other health related services means that many residents end up travelling within or beyond the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) to have their primary, secondary and supplementary health care needs met.
  • Indigenous: It is important to note that the NWMO has separate processes for working with Indigenous communities that honour the governance of those communities. The Summary Report has not disaggregated data that is specific to Indigenous communities and the report is considered preliminary. Indigenous engagement on the summary report has not been completed. We intend to work with communities to determine the preferred approach to undertaking studies related to Indigenous Peoples.

The NWMO is committed to safety, protecting people and the environment, and implementing a safe, long-term plan to contain and isolate Canada’s used nuclear fuel. Canada’s plan will only proceed in an area with informed and willing hosts, where the municipality, First Nation and Métis communities, and others in the area are working together to implement it.

About the NWMO

Founded in 2002, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is a not-for-profit organization tasked with the safe, long-term management of Canada’s intermediate- and high-level radioactive waste, in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.

The NWMO has been guided for more than 20 years by a dedicated team of world-class scientists, engineers and Indigenous Knowledge Holders that are developing innovative and collaborative solutions for nuclear waste management.


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