Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL)
compiled by AECL in secrecy
In 1985, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited undertook to compile a secret dossier on anti-nuclear groups in Canada. For this purpose AECL hired a researcher who travelled Canada, visiting the groups in question. He masqueraded as a free-lance journalist who claimed to be writing an article for some respectable magazine such as Harrowsmith.
This individual became friendly with the key members in different groups, having coffee with them and asking lots of "human-interest" type questions about them and their organization. All of this information went into the dossier being prepared for AECL, under various headings such as: OBJECTIVES, TARGET ISSUES, FUNDING SOURCES, MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS, STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, THREATS TO AECL, and OPPORTUNITIES FOR AECL.
Of the twenty groups who were identified, the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility occupied the place of honour as the number one anti-nuclear group in the country. Below is an unedited reproduction of the assessment of CCNR contained in the AECL dossier.
Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility,FOUNDED
P.O. Box 236, Snowdon,
Montreal, Quebec H3X 3T4
- Began as a group of about 30 Montrealers who were all active in the environment, all knowledgeable about nuclear issues.
- Names associated with the founding include Gordon Edwards, Fred Knelman, Solanges Vincent and Hélène Lajambe.
The purpose was:
- to share information and resources of member groups; and
- to present a united front to the Government of Canada for a national enquiry into nuclear issues.
Group nearly ceased operation in 1981 because:
- Board of Directors who were drawn from all across Canada and had difficulty assembling for meetings; and
- there was a growing feeling within CCNR that the group had outlived its usefulness.
Consequently CCNR slimmed down and returned to its roots. It closed its office in 1985 and operates with a local Board of Directors. CCNR is no longer a coalition but functions as a research, referral and resource centre and operates as a network with its former coalition members.
- Influence Government of Canada on nuclear issues.
- Elevate the debate on nuclear issues toward more constructive and integrated approaches to the problem.
- Government subsidization of the nuclear industry.
- Nuclear exports
- Links between nuclear power and the military
- Canada's military nuclear involvement
- Uranium mining and processing
- Worker safety in uranium mines
- Contamination of communities (Port Hope)
- Food irradiation
- Alternative energy sources
- Reactor de-commissioning
noneBOARD OF DIRECTORS
- Gordon Edwards (president)
- Lolly Golt (vice-president)
- Grace Moore (secretary-treasurer)
- Dorothy Rosenberg
- Rolf Bramann
- Bob Williams
- Helene Lajambe
Does not hold annual meetings open to the public.
Group survives solely on unsolicited donations.
- No formal affiliations.
- Group has not functioned as a coalition since 1981.
- In the food irradiation issue, for example, the group is not affiliated with Food Chain but maintains linkages with more than 100 groups across Canada, which is essentially every group interested in nuclear issues.
- This informal network, mainly the old guard of the environmental movement who are no longer active, alerts CCNR about local issues.
- Accessed to the Canadian Environmental Network.
- No promotional literature.
- No longer publishes "Fission Chips", a quarterly publication.
- Produces handbooks for sale based on scientific evidence with such titles as "What, Me Worry?" (nuclear waste); "Estimating Lung Cancer: It's Perfectly Safe But Don't Breathe Too Deeply" (radon gas).
- Briefs and submissions to government bodies, agencies, public hearings.
- Speakers' bureau with visual aids.
This group is credited with putting nuclear issues on the political agenda in Canada.PROJECTS IN PROGRESS
- Has maintained contacts and good will from its heyday.
- Many of the current members of the group are well-respected throughout the environmental movement.
- Has good volunteer researchers and well-placed sources of information.
- Groups still turn to CCNR with nuclear issues arise because it is a national group with national linkages.
- If any nuclear issue surfaces, they normally hear about it quickly.
- Good at accurately explaining technical issues to the general public in an entertaining way.
- Group has mainly survived because of commitment to nuclear issues and its determination to share information and mutual agreement to operate by consensus.
- Poorly organized for fund raising.
- Not a top-down organization.
- Requires unanimous consent of members before any stance on an issue becomes policy.
THREATS TO AECL
Strong capability to critically examine complex scientific data.OPPORTUNITIES FOR AECL
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