Québec, Uranium


As someone who did a brief stint in the Canadian Armed Forces (Navy), I’m always astounded as to how little the average person is aware of just how important the men and women of our armed services are in protecting our freedom, and standard of living.

Take for example the recent controversy on Québec’s North Shore concerning a proposal for uranium mining. Immediately the local community, including a group of righteously-indignant doctors, got upset, and promptly manned the barricades, saying that they would resign, en masse, if the project went ahead.

What they don’t seem to realise, is just how important uranium is in preserving and protecting our way of life here on earth. First of all, if our dearly-beloved Prime Minister can get his act together, and get the Chalk River nuclear reactor up and running again, then uranium will be needed to make fuel for it, so that it can once again produce radioactive isotopes to fight cancer worldwide. Not bad for a reactor which was first brought on line to make fuel for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs in WWII, eh?

Secondly, if these doctors weren’t so selfish and narrowly-focused, they’d look beyond the end of their nose to what’s going on outside of Québec, and see that other parts of Canada are not so well-endowed with huge rivers with waterfalls that can be dammed to produce ‘clean’ power. (Well there’s the slight problem of mercury in the fish, and flooding thousands of acres of Indian lands, but hey, it’s ‘clean’ power, right?)

Therefore, provinces like Ontario and New Brunswick need uranium to run their nuclear power-generating reactors so that people over there can have the same standard of living as we do.

Lastly, there’s the organization that protects the way of life and standard of living for all of us: The United States Navy. Why do I mention this outfit? Well, there’s the slight issue concerning the fact that three quarters of our planet is water. Most of the goods that come from overseas, especially Asia, come via cargo ship over the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. If anything happens to any of these ships, eg. a sick crew member, mechanical failure, fire, mutiny on board, pirates, (just think of what goes on off the coast of Somalia), a sinking ship, whatever, I can tell you right away, that it’s NOT Mr. Dress up, the Friendly Giant, along with his pals Rusty the Rooster, and Casey and Finnegan, that are going to come to their rescue with a large Double Double of Tim Hortons coffee and a chocolate glazed doughnut!!!

More likely, it will be a NUCLEAR-POWERED aircraft carrier from the United States Navy, which will come and bail them out, so that John and Jane Q. Public will get their shipment of DVD players or other widgets that get sold at Wal-Mart, on schedule, and in good shape. This will happen, without anybody knowing, much less caring about, or even having to think about it. It just happens.

So if those doctors on the North Shore of Québec really want to be narrow-minded and take a typically NIMBY attitude (Not in my backyard), then maybe they should look at one of those new-fangled slogans that are going around the village these days: ‘Think Global, Act Local’. They could come out in favour of uranium mining, with the proper safety precautions put in place, and work towards a viable public health solution.

Because, as the saying goes, ‘The price of freedom is never free’. The same could be said of our standard of living. I’m sure the folks at the United States Navy would be very appreciative if we showed them some gratitude for getting our DVD player to Wal-Mart on time. Come to think of it, I think I’ll watch a movie tonight. Hmmm, what will it be? Pearl Harbour, yeah, that sounds good!!!

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