Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Correspondence with Donna Dillman after her hunger strike to protest uranium mining

Photo of Donna Dillman and march to Queen's Park, Dec. 13, 2007.

For videos of the event see (warning: lound sounds on this site, so turn down your speaker first)

Donna Dillman ended her two month long hunger strike to stop uranium mining after several environmental NGOs (notably Greenpeace) said they would hold a public inquiry into the matter. SACC will participate in that inquiry and we welcome you to take part as well, when it is scheduled.

Look for updates on this site, or write to for notice of when the inquiry will occur. The following is part of an exchange with Donna in chronological order. See the CCAMU site for more information as well: CCAMU

Or go to their petition: CCAMU petition

In November, Students Against Climate Change hosted a talk with noted expert Dr. Gordon Edwards on nuclear waste and tritium leakage, at Hart House. See the following site for more information: Nuclear waste It has information from the group that Dr. Edwards founded with Dr. GoldinRosenberg and others scientists: Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility. Also see this exposee on uranium mining by Dr. Edwards.

Letter to Ontario premier Dalton McGunity in support of CCAMU from Students Against Climate Change, copied to D. Dillman:

Dear Mr. McGuinty,

The University of Toronto campus club Students Against Climate Changes supports Donna Dillman's call for a moratorium on uranium mining in Ontario.

Ms. Dillman and the organiation she represents, CCAMU, have put forward many sound reccommendations that your government ought to abide by, and which are consistent with the reports issued by Dr. Keith Stewart, Dr. Dorothy Goldin-Rosenber and Dr. Gordon Edwards. Clearly, we do not need nuclear energy in Ontario for many reasons. Here are a few:

* You and your ministers seem to know little or nothing about the environmental and health effects of tritium and radioactive waste. Your choice to embrace nuclear technology in Ontario is based on the advice of a few consultants who come from the "revolving door" of the nuclear industry and who are predisposed to committing public funds to their industry. This is not based on a sound committment to the public good, either in terms of how their funds are to be spent, or in terms of their health. It is like Haliburton advising the Bush Administration on how to proceed in the Middle East; there is a serious conflict of interest which by itself should be enough to put an end to nuclear energy and uranium mining in Ontario.

* 85% of the uranium is exported, and there is absolutely no guarantee that it will not be used for nuclear weapons in the future. Dr. Edwards says that paper agreements are meaningless for future generations, and any reasonable person would concur: how can we provide guarantees that weapons won't be built from Ontario uranium 1,000 years from now, or even 100 years from now? We cannot. This waste will be here long after Canada is gone, and will continue to poison human beings and animals, and be incorrectly used.

* You will be allowing uranium mining operations to poison ecosystems with toxic mine tailings and radioactive waste (which enters into our drinking water in the form of tritium) in order to enrich the uranium mining and nuclear industry in Ontario, at a great expense to taxpayers, the public, the environment and future generations. And there are serious environmental concerns around mining (including
destruction of boreal forests and water contamination) which your government has not addressed. This is a morally, economically and environmentally unsound direction to take.

Caption: open-pit uranium mine

* The 15% which is used for reactors in Ontario is unecessary since we now know it is possible to supply 100% of Ontario's energy needs (including the base load) through wind power (see The biggest argument, by far, is that public funds spent on nuclear, take away from funds that could be
better spent on renewables and conservation. Additionally, uranium is a non-renewable resource and not a sustainable solution in terms of meeting long-term energy needs. The direction taken by Germany, California and Denmark provide far better solutions. It is hypocritical of your government to claim that it is fighting to mitigate climate change and at the same time invest $46 billion in nuclear energy and allow uranium mining in Ontario, when neither is a viable solution.

* There are outstanding aboriginal land claims issues (relating to Sharbot Lake) with the Algonquin first nation which your government has not addressed. This is a question of social justice which Ontario must look into before precipitously moving ahead with new development projects.

Caption: No swimming sign near Bruce nuclear facility, due to water contamination

History will view Donna Dillman as a courageous individual willing to risk her life for future generations and for social and environmental justice. You, on the other hand, will be viewed as a schill for big business and that unique group of opportunistic climate criminals, the nuclear industry. That is, unless you decide to stop uranium mining, put an end to the investment in nuclear energy, and do what any sane responsible leader ought to do: commit to renewable energy, conservation, environnmental preservation, and consultation with relevant stakeholders such as environmental and community groups such as CCAMU.


Caption: Photo of radiation poisoning. In the early 1950's, approximately 100,000 immigrant children received X-ray radiation treatment for ringworm upon their arrival in Israel. It was later discovered that these treatments caused high rates of infertility, cancer and death. See film The Ringworm Children.

Caption: photo from Chernobyl. Four year old Sasha has no lymph nodes.

Caption: Twins Michael and Vladimir, aged 16, near Chernobyl. One has hydrocephalus, the other is deaf. According to Prof. G. V. Brukhinat at the medical facility at Chelyabinks, Russia, "most of the congenital diseases are caused by debilitating circumstances in the unborn child's environment." According to Prof. Dorothy GoldinRosenberg at U of T allowable tritium levels in Ontario are 100 times higher than in Europe. Tritium in the water, can cause damage to unborn children. The danger of building nuclear reactors, according to Prof. Larry Schmidt at St. Michael's College, is that we cannot predict how that technology will be used or disposed of beyond three generations. Problems like those at Chernobyl are a real possibility for future generations, for hundreds of years in the future.

Caption: Abandoned kindergarten. Some areas around Chernobly are so contaminated they will have to be closed off for 900 years.

Caption: Bayan, now 16, was 5 when diagnosed with a brain tumour. She now has a second brain tumour. For more information see Chernobyl Info.; Focus Chernobyl


Mr. Guinty, you claim to be a Christian, but to allow this to happen is decidedly contrary to Jesus' ethical teachings to love our neighbours. Those neighbours include people at risk from tritium poisoning and future generations at risk from nuclear waste. Like Robert Oppenheimer, you are unleashing a dread force on the world, and like him you are personally and morally responsible. And like him you
can reverse yourself and try to make amends. It is not too late. Confession of sins and redemption is an integral part of the Christian experience that you may wish to explore more fully. In this case it will necessarily entail reversing yourself on nuclear energy, destruction of Ontario's boreal forests, and aboriginal land claims.

Sincerely, Paul York, on behalf of
Students Against Climate Change
University of Toronto campus club
tel: 416-922-0035


Photo of Donna Dillman

Letter from D. Dillman to P. York:

You may have heard that some very stellar environment organizations Greenpeace, Suzuki Foundation, Sierra Club, Students Against Climate Change, etc, etc.) came to the rescue and will be coming together with Citizens Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU) to call a Citizen's Hearing on the issue, so that I was able to end my protest and eat (baby food, baby quanitities, until my stomach adjusts to receiving food again). Please be in touch with the folks at UofT. They'd love to
hear from you. You can also check out CCAMU's website for more info and for my daily blogs, letters to the Premier and more perspective: You can also sign up to the Uranium News to keep up to date.

Thanks again Paul, it was fabulous to have met so many keen and caring people in the big city. Please stay in touch as we move toward organizing the Inquiry.



Letter from P. York to D. Dillman:

Dear Ms. Dillman,

Thank you for this thorough update. I look forward to the Inquiry as well and will be happy to lobby for it and promote it if it is scheduled. Please keep me updated on that. It was a great pleasure to meet you and be involved in this cause. We will never meet the future generations, far in the future, adversely affected by nuclear waste, but we have established a permanent bond with them, in support of their well-being, for the sake of social justice. This adds great value and meaning to our lives, far more than if we focused only serving ourselves. I appreciate the opportunity you have given me to be part of that your actions and example. You have my deep admiration and thanks.

Sincerely, Paul York


Letter from D. Dillman to P. York:

I'll put your name with the list of folks coming forward to be apart of the inquiry. Hopefully, the government of the day will sit up and take notice
at some point. I refuse to believe that, as a society, we are destined to
let big business/industry/lobbyists destroy my grandchildren's (your
children's) futures.

Take a look at my husbands site: He has been at
this work (the bigger picture) for over 35 years and the hope lies in your


Photo from CCAMU site showing protest in Ottawa with native group, against uranium mining

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