Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU)
Citizens’ Inquiry on the Impacts of the Uranium Cycle
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The Aspects of My Life That Uranium Mining Will Affect

Corinne Mintz

I found out in early Dec. of the government’s allowance of companies to prospect for uranium in the Bancroft Haliburton areas. Since then, the concept of uranium mines north of where I have chosen to live has been foremost in my consciousness. Most mornings I wake up thinking what am I going to do? How am I able to continue living here? How can I protect my own and my family’s health? How can I stop the imminent destruction of wilderness, eco systems, and communities of animals and humans? How could this be allowed? How can greedy companies with dreams of money come here and destroy pollute and contaminate. Why is our government allowing this? How can this be in the best interest of the people of Ontario?

What I wanted to bring to this inquiry is all the aspects of my life that uranium mining north of us will affect.

AS A HUMAN: I must drink water everyday to survive. The history of uranium mining shows that there are radioactive spills often and that the process of milling adds many toxins to the local and down stream environment. In Peterborough’s case those spills and toxic residues will be flowing into our drinking water. How can I enjoy a glass of water again?

I must also breathe. and already as the first holes are bored into the ground radon gas is being released. The air we breathe is already more contaminated

AS A WOMAN CONSIDERING BRINGING ANOTHER HUMAN INTO THIS WORLD: I have fear. I fear that the uranium mining will damage my potential offspring. That I will not have the luxury of having a child free from birth defects if I choose to have my child here.

AS A HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONER: I have devoted my life to finding health and balance for myself and for my clients. How am I meant to maintain health and balance when our air, water and soil will be harming us? What hope can I have for my clients and their well being?

AS AN ORGANIC GROWER: I have grown my own food for many years. When our water is contaminated how many of those contaminants will be absorbed by my vegetables? How much toxic particulate will be blown here? How much radioactivity will build up in my soil? And what option do I have? Plants need water to grow.

AS A PERSON WHO SUPPORTS LOCAL PRODUCERS: I have made a conscious effort to buy locally, and to contribute to the local economy. How polluted will all our land become? What else will local chickens, vegetables, fruit and maple syrup, contain once open pit mining begins and as the contaminants seep farther and farther into the water table?

AS AN ENVIRONMENTALIST: I am a person who believes in the inherent value of wilderness and the rights of animals to have healthy habitat. I believe in the rights of trees to grow without mutations and I work to encourage the proliferation of biodiversity on this planet. We have seen downstream from uranium mines the killing of watersheds by the acidification of the water. These ecosystems can now only continue to thrive with human intervention for ever. The balance of nature has been destroyed.

AS A CANOEIST AND OUTDOOR ENTHUSIAST: I have enjoyed paddling in Ontario’s wilderness. The Kawartha Highlands Park, which people worked hard to create, and is just now becoming a regulated park is far to close to these proposed mines. This area which so many people enjoy every year, this sanctuary for wild life how will it fare so close to a uranium mine? Will it be safe to paddle in?

AS A HOME OWNER: I have put much time energy and resources into creating a home for myself and my family. As we begin to see the negative effects of being so close to uranium mining my home which I have purchased will decrease in value and my hard work will see no monetary reward.

AS A COTTAGE OWNER: in the Haliburton area I find it impossible to think that property values will not plummet if these mines go through. Would you swim in a lake near a uranium mine? Is that where you would choose to spend your leisure time?

These are just the most obvious impacts of uranium mining north of us on my life. I can’t help but question how allowing uranium mining in Ontario or any where on this planet is a sane or viable option. We have seen the disastrous effects of uranium mining in Elliot Lake, Saskatchewan, and around the world. When will we learn that uranium is far too dangerous for humans to play with? When will we look for healthy safe alternatives for our energy needs? Before or after Ontario is an unlivable and hazardous place to be?