The NWMO helps northwestern Ontario municipal leaders keep connected during pandemic
Ben Belfadhel, Vice-President of Site Selection at the NWMO, delivering a presentation at the KDMA Conference held earlier this year.
Many organizations, including the Kenora District Municipal Association (KDMA), are adjusting to a new reality of working and meeting remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is providing a one-time investment of $10,000 to help KDMA establish reliable and secure communications between communities in the region in these difficult times.
“KDMA is an important organization in northwestern Ontario and we remain committed to engaging with the organization, as we work together to overcome the challenges created by COVID-19,” said Ben Belfadhel, Vice-President of Site Selection at the NWMO.
Mayor Kevin Kahoot, President of KDMA, welcomed the donation from the NWMO. “This donation will enable us to purchase the much needed information technology equipment and software, so that we are able to coordinate virtual communication and engagement activities among municipal leaders in the region,” he said.
KDMA represents nine municipalities, including the Township of Ignace, which is engaged with the NWMO as a potential host for a deep geological repository for Canada’s used nuclear fuel. KDMA addresses issues of general interest to the municipalities, and sharing information about COVID-19 (which is affecting all communities) is critical.
The donation to KDMA is the latest in a number of initiatives the NWMO has undertaken to support communities as we manage through the pandemic. Earlier this month, the NWMO provided one-time investments of $25,000 to 19 municipal and Indigenous communities to assist with local responses to COVID-19. We have also donated masks to Anishnawbe Health Toronto and made a $2,500 donation to Thunder Bay’s Regional Food Distribution Association to purchase nutritious food for vulnerable groups.
Recently, the NWMO also joined a community partnership spearheaded by Bruce Power to provide free hand sanitizer to municipal and Indigenous communities in Bruce, Grey and Huron counties. The NWMO’s investment will support distribution of hand sanitizer to food banks and others in need in the South Bruce area.
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is a not-for-profit organization tasked with the safe, long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository, in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.
Founded in 2002, the NWMO has been guided for more than 20 years by a dedicated team of world-class scientists, engineers and Indigenous Knowledge Holders that are developing innovative and collaborative solutions for nuclear waste management. Canada’s plan will only proceed in an area with informed and willing hosts, where the municipality, First Nation and Métis communities, and others in the area are working together to implement it. The NWMO plans to select a site in 2024, and two areas remain in our site selection process: the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area in southern Ontario.