Taken anti-nuclear waste signs spark concern in South Bruce

The sign out in front of Ron Groen’s dairy farm near Teeswater, Ont. clearly states his position on plans to bury Canada’s most radioactive nuclear waste near his community.

It says, 'STOP CANADA’S NUCLEAR DUMP.'

So when a handful of other signs he and his neighbours had put up started going missing Thursday, without warning, they took notice. 

Groen says, "The county was driving along the roads and they were taking down every single sign. But, they only took down the signs that were against the DGR (deep geological repository) in South Bruce."

Jerry Haan is Bruce County’s Transportation Operations manager. He says the handful of signs taken down Thursday fell within Bruce County’s 'right of way.' He says without a sign permit, you can’t just put signs on the side of roads and highways. 

Fair enough, says Groen, but then any and all signs that fall within the county’s 'right of way' should have been taken down, not just those protesting the proposed nuclear waste project. 

"I understand they need to be back a certain distance and can’t impede traffic, or being able to see around a corner. But, if you’re going to take down signs, it makes sense to me to enforce the bylaw for everybody and not just a specific group of people or specific group of signs," says Groen.

Haan says the decision to take down the signs was not political at all, rather a simple 'right of way' problem. He says all the signs have since been returned. 

Groen says they’re going back up, as soon as possible. 

"We’ll be putting them back up shortly, to show our opposition to the project," he says. 

Several Bruce County mayors support plans to bury Canada’s nuclear waste in the region. They say the multi-billion dollar facility will create hundreds of jobs for over 100 years, and will safely and permanently protect Canada’s most radioactive waste for eternity.

A decision on whether to bury Canada’s used nuclear fuel near South Bruce or in Northern Ontario, is expected by 2023.

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