The Fond du Lac Dene Nation says it supports Cameco’s application to renew its licence to continue decommissioning the Beaverlodge mine site, but it wants more consultation and involvement in the future.
The uranium mine, located in northern Saskatchewan, has been closed for more than 30 years and Cameco’s licence renewal was the topic of discussion at public hearings Wednesday night in Saskatoon.
Darryl McDonald of the Fond du Lac band was one of the presenters and he says the fact that Cameco has a liaison officer in the community to deal with employment issues is not the same as involving the First Nation in the remediation process of the mine.
“The role of the community liaison officer, from our understanding, is that the role was regarding employment and the status of employees at the mine site and translations, I guess, when representatives come into the community,” he says. “For Cameco to say we have a liaison officer in Fond du Lac doesn’t really answer the question.”
Similar to Fond du Lac, Peter Prebble of the Saskatchewan Environmental Society also says his organization supports Cameco’s application — but has concerns the federal government is trying to renege on its responsibility to clean up the site by handing off monitoring duties to the province.
“But nobody is seriously talking about cleaning up the damage that has been done in the region,” he says. “And that’s quite a legacy to leave northern Saskatchewan, in an unremediated form. We’re struck by the fact, we think a lot of people in Saskatchewan wouldn’t consider that to be acceptable.”
The public hearings continue today.