Update: Northwestern Ontario town supports $26-billion nuclear storage unit

By Tim Davidson Jul 10, 2024 | 5:05 PM

There is strong support from a small town in northwestern Ontario to become the possible home of Canada’s first underground nuclear storage unit.

Ignace council voted to continue showing interest in the $26-billion project during a special meeting on Wednesday. The vote came after a community “willingness survey” revealed more than 77 per cent of voters want to move forward.

“We are proudly the first community in Canada to be indicating our support and our willingness to continue in the selection process,” stated Mayor Kim Baigrie. “The residents of the Township of Ignace have spoken loud and clear and we fully respect their direction as a council.”

The recommendations to council outlined 77.3 per cent (495 votes) voted in favour of becoming a willing host community as opposed to 20.8 per cent (133 votes) of those who voted against and 1.9 per cent (12 votes) abstained.

There were 1,035 eligible voters and 660 opted into the process, with 640 logging ballets that demonstrated a fulsome participation in the study conducted.

In the northwest region, Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation (WLON) will also have its own willingness process and their decision is also needed.

“We are just one of the potential willing hosts in northwestern Ontario and we also respect and appreciate the willingness and upcoming decision of the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway First Nation in this process.” explains Baigrie.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization plans to decide later this year where Canada’s nuclear waste will be stored.

Ignace is one of two locations being considered for the project, with the other in southern Ontario.

Concerns have been raised by various groups over the risks involved from transporting the waste to get to Ignace, if it is chosen as the site for the project.