Saturday, February 23, 2008

Here's a great article on the Chalk River fiasco...

... and the Tory's work to take down a nuclear safety regulator primarily concerned with nuclear safety, and replace her with a regulator primarily concerned with doing what the industry tells him to do: Canada's Nuclear Fallout.

The most interesting bit of the article is this:

Ms. Keen's suggestion that her overstretched commission would no longer prioritize prelicensing was seen as obstructionist.

AECL's private-sector partners, including SNC-Lavalin, GE Canada and Hitachi Canada, hired some of the best-connected lobbyists in Ottawa to carry that message forward; other industry members complained directly to the Prime Minister's Office, sources said.

"We've tried to communicate however we could to whomever we could, to make this point," said Patrick Lamarre, president of SNC-Lavalin's nuclear division.

Michael Burns, the B.C.-based wind power executive who Mr. Lunn appointed as chairman of AECL, began to lobby the minister, whom he said he spoke with once a week during his chairmanship, about addressing the problems with Ms. Keen and her commission.

"I told [Mr. Lunn] then the dysfunctional relationship was going to cause serious trouble for commercial operations at the company. I told him we were going to have a train wreck. And I gave him a plan to fix it," Mr. Burns said.

The goal, he said, was to induce the government to legislate an overhaul at the CNSC, including Ms. Keen's position. (emphasis added)

I mean, wow. Just WOW.

I once again apologize for doubting those who said at the time that this whole fiasco was a "manufactured crisis" cooked up by the Tories in collusion with AECL to take down a nuclear safety regulator who stubbornly refused to compromise nuclear safety for the sake of corporate profitability (or, put another way, INSISTED ON DOING HER JOB AS ESTABLISHED IN CANADIAN LAW).

Clearly, this WAS the plan all along. Create an apparent "crisis" and use this manufactured crisis as an excuse to neuter Canada's nuclear safety regulator. I didn't believe the Tories could be so crass, but today, I stand corrected.

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Dave said...

I don't think you need to apologize. You were no different than a lot of Canadians who felt, no matter who was in power, there was a limit to what a government would do. Even I felt that way until I realized the "global isotope shortage" was garbage.

We never counted on having the Reform Party in power, but that's what we've got.

And now the game has changed. Completely.

Sir Isaac Brock said...

I once again apologize for doubting those who said at the time that this whole fiasco was a "manufactured crisis"...

No worries. You have been typically Canadian in your even-handed willingness to give Harper and his Harperoids the benefit of the doubt. That's a good thing. It is not easy to have to acknowledge that your countrymen have elevated into federal office some of the lowest forms of political life ever to slither out of primeval slime. It is even harder for a real conservative like me to watch as my political orientation has its integrity and credibility torn to shreds through its unmerited association with those vermin.