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First Nations call on feds to oppose nuclear waste disposal site near Ottawa River

OTTAWA — First Nations leaders are calling on the federal government to oppose a nuclear waste disposal site near the Ottawa River that they say threatens drinking water and their rights.

Last month, a federal regulator approved a proposal from Canadian Nuclear Laboratories to build a near-surface disposal facility for nuclear waste close to Chalk River, Ont.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission said the project isn’t “likely to cause significant adverse environmental effect.” 

But multiple First Nations and dozens of municipalities in Ontario and Quebec object to the project.

The facility is located on the traditional territories of Kebaowek First Nation, and it says the federal government breached its duty to consult by failing to obtain consent for the project. 

The First Nation has submitted a judicial review to challenge the project’s approval and is looking for support from Ottawa, as opponents of the facility gather today for a rally on Parliament Hill.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 14, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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