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An educational fund agreement has been signed between Manitoba, Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) and the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) that will look to educate MKO communities to understand what their organization is doing.
According to the Thompson Citizen, Michael Krizanc, communication manager for NWMO said “The agreement has nothing at all to do with MKO looking to be a potential host. They just want to learn about it because they feel like it could impact them some way in the future,” they reported. “We closed off the expressions of interest in 2012, so we’re not seeking new interest from potential hosts. We’re in fact narrowing down the number of communities we’re working with.”
NWMO which was established in 2002 by Ontario Power Generation, works to assume responsibility for Canada’s long-term management of used nuclear fuel will provide funds up to $312,689 for the MKO 2015-16 work plan.
The Thompson Citizen reports that the company’s funding will go towards a variety of different aspects “including $91,000 for human resources and hiring a project manager to lead the educational services, $25,000 to support Northern Manitoba trappers, and $40,000 for educating and including youth in these talks.” With all other funds going towards office operations, travel, elder and MKO senate support, as well as community meetings.
According to Krizanc the money comes from nuclear electricity producers such as Ontario Power Generation, Hydro Quebec and New Brunswick Power. “It gave them responsibility to set up our organization and to fund our organization, and to put away monies in trust funds to pay for long-term management of nuclear fuel,” they reported him saying.
MKO’s Grand Chief David Harper believes it’s NWMO’s responsibility to educate communities on their process when it comes to finding a host for the nuclear waste storage sites and requested the funding to educate the people that would be effected by the storage sites. “We put a proposal together requesting that NWMO support educating our youth, elders, trappers, and fisherman, our communities. They’d explain what is really happening, where these storage are located.”