Open letter: Uranium, social acceptability and sustainable development

MONTREAL, June 10, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The seventy Quebec scientists and professionals from industry and academia who have signed this open letter are committed to using their know-how in an ethical, socially-responsible and environmentally-responsible manner. Exploration for and development of any mineral, including uranium, cannot go against the public interest.

It is possible for the uranium industry to gain broad public support. In Saskatchewan, about 80% of the population supports uranium mining, including 76% of people in the communities and reserves of northern Saskatchewan, where the uranium mines are found (Fast Consulting, Intelligence Community, November 2013). Saskatchewan has been mining the highest-grade uranium deposits in the world for 60 years.

Several places in the world, including Labrador, Greenland and Queensland in Australia, recently lifted moratoria that they now perceive as unjustified. The role that nuclear energy could play in combatting global warming was underscored in the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an organization established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and free from suspicion of complicity with industry.

In this context, the signatories question the relevance of the process established by the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) on "Quebec uranium industry issues". We are heading into a process that was borne of uranium fear mongering fueled by an archaic and biased view of the mining industry.

The question, in this period of fiscal restraint, is whether this "generic BAPE", which will cost over $2 million of public funds, should even be held. The choice of Louis-Gilles Francoeur to chair the commission is also perplexing. Throughout his career, Mr. Francoeur has tended to echo uranium industry critics. The BAPE is an institution founded on the principle of absolute neutrality. What would become of the BAPE's credibility if a former mining executive were appointed chairman of the commission?

We must not forget that all stages of the uranium industry, including its aspects of public health and environmental protection, are strictly regulated by federal and provincial legislation. It is impossible for any uranium deposit to be developed, and then mined, without the project meeting the most stringent standards and being subject to public hearings. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), a globally-recognized agency with no ties to industry, sets the standards and has permanent monitoring and, if needed, enforcement powers over all nuclear industry activities.


David H. Albert, geologist, Montréal

Gail Amyot, engineer, Montréal

Paul Archer, engineer, Québec

Charles Beaudry, geologist, Toronto

Alain-Jean Beauregard, geologist, Val d'Or

Pierre Bérubé, engineer, Val d'Or

François Bissonnette, geologist, Longueuil

François Bouchard, geologist, Malartic

Christian Bourcier, engineer, Val d'Or

Guy Bourque, engineer, Longueuil

Simon Britt, CPA, CA, Saint-Lambert

Serge Bureau, engineer, Candiac

Eddy Canova, geologist, Montréal

Alain Carrier, geologist, Val d'Or

Gilles Carrier, engineer, La Sarre

Peter Cashin, geologist, Toronto

John D. Charlton, geologist, Montréal

Normand Champigny, engineer, Montréal

Rémi Charbonneau, geologist, Montréal

Philippe Cloutier, geologist, Val d'Or

Olivier Côté-Mantha, geologist, Val d'Or

Isabelle D'Amours, engineer, Brossard

Julien Davy, geologist, Montréal

Brigitte Dejou, engineer, Montréal

Jean Demers, geologist, Verchères

Eric Desaulniers, geologist, L'Ange-Gardien

Harold Desbiens, geologist, Saint-Lambert

Caroll Desormeaux, jr engineer, Montréal

Dominique Doucet, engineer, Montréal

Joël Dubé, engineer, Ottawa

Marc Ducharme, geologist, Val d'Or

Yan Ducharme, geologist, Val d'Or

Claude Dufresne, engineer, Montréal

Francine Fallara, geologist, Val d'Or

Ghislain Fournier, engineer, Val d'Or

Damien Gaboury, geologist, Saguenay

André Gaumond, engineer, Québec

Marie-José Girard, geologist, Montréal

Patrick Godin, engineer, Longueuil

Normand Goulet, geologist, Montréal

Danièle Héon, geologist, Whitehorse

Jean Hubert, engineer, Québec

Catherine Jalbert, geologist, Vald'Or

Vincent Jourdain, engineer, Val d'Or

Gaétan Lavallière, geologist, Val d'Or

Jean-Sébastien Lavallée, geologist, Val d'Or

Richard Lavallée, engineer, La Sarre

Gilles Laverdière, geologist, Montréal

Jérôme Lavoie, engineer, Québec

Marc Legault, geologist, Rouyn-Noranda

Eric Lemieux, geologist, Drummondville

Jean-Marc Lulin, geologist, Montréal

Mario Masson, geologist, Rouyn-Noranda

Patrick Mercier, engineer, Longueuil

Robert Oswald, geologist, Rouyn-Noranda

Jean-François Ouellette, geologist, Rouyn-Noranda

Vital Pearson, engineer, Québec

Pierre-Alexandre Pelletier, jr geologist, Boucherville

Ghislain Poirier, engineer, Longueuil

Michel Proulx, geologist, Val d'Or

Michel Rheault, geologist, Montréal

Isabelle Robillard, geologist, Montréal

Gino Roger, engineer, Rosemère

Mathieu Savard, geologist, Québec

Camille St-Hilaire, geologist, Rouyn-Noranda

Marjorie Simard, geologist, Val d'Or

Donald Trudel, geologist, St-Laurent

Simon Tshimbalanga, engineer, Québec

Denis Vaillancourt, geologist, Val d'Or

Robert Wares, geologist, Montréal


SOURCE: Professional geoscientists from Quebec and uranium

For further information: Jean-Marc Lulin: 450 646-3015; Philippe Cloutier: 819 874-1331; Robert Wares: 514 951-4235

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Professional geoscientists from Quebec and uranium

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