Silent protest held outside of closed session of South Bruce council

·2 min read

TEESWATER – Members of the Protect South Bruce-No DGR concerned citizens group staged a silent protest at a special South Bruce council meeting on May 31.

The demonstrators were concerned by the decision of council to hold a closed session to discuss a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), calling it a “secret meeting.”

An email invitation from the group said, “Tonight, the council is holding a closed session to discuss the process of creating a Memorandum of Understanding between the municipality and the NWMO. Why is this a closed session? What agreements have already been made? What plans are being made behind closed doors?”

Group member Rita Groen said she asked South Bruce Mayor Robert Buckle why the meeting was closed to the public before they were asked to step outside, saying he responded with the following statement, “Because of the personal opinions of the councillors.”

Groen said, “The MOU comes on a future council agenda on Friday afternoon and the council meeting is the following Tuesday. This limits the time that the residents can question the memorandum.”

According to the posted agenda, South Bruce council adhered to the municipality’s bylaws regarding closed sessions which said, “Advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose, and a position, plan, procedure, criteria or instruction to be applied to any negotiations carried on or to be carried on by or on behalf of the municipality or local board; (ongoing negotiations with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) relating to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)).”

The NWMO previously signed an MOU with Ignace, Ont., the other location left in the site selection process for the DGR, in October 2021.

Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times

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