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Water & Informed Consent

Ivona Vujica
Ottawa

It is only April in Ottawa. We are in the middle of a heatwave and I can hardly breathe.

Burning Fossil Fuels and cutting trees will gas us all one by one or all at once.

Burning Fossil Fuels is not about Energy. It is about the power of Fossil-Fuel-Burning Pushers. Their temporary profit buys our and their collective death by extinction.

It is time to completely and forever Stop Burning Fossil Fuels and Stop Cutting Trees NOW!

Renewable sources of energy are limitless. It is only Fossil-Fuel-Burning-Pushers that limit them.

Let's radically rebuild this society into 100% green buildings and communities.

This radical shift to 100% renewable energies society would indeed create a blooming full employment green economy!

My name is Ivona Vujica and I am here as a concerned citizen to talk about three things: Ottawa/Gatineau water; Informed Consent; and Who's going to do Informed Consent for every Ottawa/Gatineau resident regarding the irreversible radioactivity of their water if uranium mining was to go ahead.

INTRO

Before I start, I would like to say that we are here today thanks to Donna Dillman and the resistance of Ardoch Algonquin First Nation to occupation of their land by Frontenac Ventures corporations and Ontario government.

Donna refused food for more than two months in order to raise awareness of dangers of uranium mining and prospecting at Sharbot Lake, Ontario, and La Peche and Pontiac, West Quebec, and to help spur people into action. Thank you Donna. Your organizing and your sacrifice has opened the space for this public inquiry throughout Ontario. This is priceless as space for public gatherings is getting to be more and more difficult to come by these days. Hopefully we won't revert to days when Mother Jones had to organize miners into union by standing in the middle of a creek, as all the land including miners' homes, stores and churches belonged to mining companies. Many times Mother Jones had to hold meetings in the fields in the middle of night. I am very aware of aggressive privatization of our public spaces, free corporate access to our lands and our properties, and how much it took for Donna to open up this people-friendly space, including her efforts to get rid of security forces which invaded this inquiry at its initial stages. I would like to thank all who have made this public inquiry possible.

I

Ottawa/Gatineau Water and Uranium Mining

There is no amount of radioactivity that is safe. Any release is too much. Released once, it is around forever. Poking uranium in the ground during prospecting releases radioactivity into environment. This is irreversible. This is forever. Let's never ever poke uranium again!

Why would anyone do that which is irreparably destructive? Why would Ontario government attack its own land and its own people to achieve this irreparable destruction of its own environment? Let's have leadership in Ontario which will protect this land and its peoples and not be patsy of military/industrial complex of foreign governments and corporations.

Low dose of persistent radioactivity is dangerous because it is invisible to human eye - until it is too late.

We here today are fortunate to see the problem before it has happened.

The problem is uranium staking and mining at Sharbot Lake, Ontario and Pontiac and La Peche, W Quebec.

Different people define this problem in different ways. I would like to say what it means to me.

I live in Ottawa, a good hour away from where proposed uranium staking is taking place.

I stand in solidarity with people's resistance happening over there. Shame on Ontario Government for criminalizing peaceful resistance of people who are facing the problem at its epicenter.

But thanks to environmental interconnectedness, the problem is also right here. Proposed uranium prospecting and mining lies on Ottawa/Gatineau watershed. The problem I see is riding on the waves of my tap water.

Bathing and showering with radioactive water. Cooking with radioactive water. Drinking radioactive water. Raising kids on radioactive water. This is the picture of the problem I see. We already have pharmaceutical chemicals in our tap water which is not filtered. Imagine adding to Ottawa/Gatineau tap water radioactive isotopes of mined uranium.

If my tap water is at risk of becoming irreversibly radioactive, so is tap water of every human being who lives in Ottawa and Gatineau. Tap water is of common concern to all of us. We all get it from the same source, we all use it. It is what binds us to each other, what makes us into a community. It keeps us alive. To remain healthy and functioning through generations we need clean water. Our public tap watter is something that privatized bottled water enterprise can never replace.

II

Informed Consent

Many Ottawa/Gatineau residents have no clue about proposed uranium staking and mining sneaking in their homes through what better way but tap water, and through tap water into the cellular and genetic core of their bodies, resulting in inheritable genetic mutations, birth defects, cancers and other diseases for which there is no cure.

The proposed uranium staking and mining on Ottawa/Gatineau watershed represents a critical turning point in the history of this area. The whole watershed that feeds Ottawa and Gatineau will become radioactive if uranium mining goes ahead.

People living in this area have right to know that soon they may be ingesting radioactive water. They have right to informed consent so that they can decide what to do. Radioactive dust will make Ottawa and Gatineau area go bust. After all who would want to live in radioactive toxic dump? A good drawing attraction for tourists?

III

Who is going to give Informed Consent to every Ottawa/Gatineau resident?

Since Ontario government is not informing or consulting anyone who is facing the problem, it is up to us to do this monumental work.

Ottawa & Gatineau Citizens Right To Know Uranium Mining Radioactive Contamination of Their Water is a campaign which will kick-start with public outreach vigil walks through neighborhoods in Ottawa and Gatineau. Some strategies considered are broad-based flyering, door-to-door and face-to-face talks, getting information into schools etc. Please join this initiative by emailing to ottawagatineauinformedconsent@gmail.com

According to Citizens for Fully Subsidized 100% Green Buildings and Communities, Fossil and Radioactive Fuel operations in Ontario must be phased out immediately. Billions of public dollars should be creating the blooming full employment green economy, not paying for nuclear, coal and gas plants and occupation of land and destruction of environment and peoples' lives it takes to maintain these environmentally destructive and outdated energy systems.

We must give our full support to Indigenous Nations and Peoples and Activists opposing Uranium and Coal Mining, Logging, and other unsustainable corporate mining such as and including Platinex, Desert Rock coal-fired plant on Navajo land, quarry mining in Desoronto, Ontario, Mohawk land, the Alberta Tar Sands etc.

It is not politics as usual. It is not business as usual. It is our very Survival on this Beautiful Planet that is at stake. Let's turn the corner to minimize the horrific deadly effects of Global Warming by Full Abolition of Coal-Fired Plants and Coal and Uranium Mining Everywhere!