The NWMO in South Bruce has deep roots in the agricultural community

Anna Lennox in front of a car.

Anna Lennox, the 2020-2021 Ontario Queen of the Furrow, recently wrapped up her time as a developmental engagement student with the NWMO.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization in South Bruce has deep roots in the agricultural community – just ask the reigning Queen of the Furrow.

Anna Lennox spent her summer working in the NWMO’s South Bruce office as a developmental engagement student, and she continued part-time in the fall while also pursuing her degree in French and Business at the University of Waterloo. Ms. Lennox was also crowned the 2020-2021 Ontario Queen of the Furrow, an annual title awarded at the International Plowing Match.

While her duties this year have taken a different shape given the ongoing global pandemic, Ms. Lennox has juggled her schooling, her work with the NWMO and representing her title at parades and other community events. She comes from a farming family, and says her work at the NWMO has helped her understand how Canada’s plan fits into an agricultural community.

“The NWMO understands that any work it takes on in the South Bruce community can’t exclude agriculture,” said Ms. Lennox, who represented her home community of Grey-Normanby as Queen of the Furrow before earning the Ontario title. “ Agriculture is part of this community to its core. It defines South Bruce, so having an understanding of both the project and the agricultural industry helps me understand people’s concerns and helps me address their questions when they come into the office.”

She said her time with the NWMO has helped her understand how Canada’s plan for a deep geological repository for used nuclear fuel can protect people and the environment for generations to come – and coexist safely with the ongoing agricultural activities in South Bruce.

“Learning about the project has helped me to build my own confidence in the technical aspects I initially might not have understood,” she said. 

Ms. Lennox completed her work with the NWMO in December 2020, but she says she will continue to watch the development of Canada’s plan and support the organization’s work in South Bruce.

Canada’s plan will only proceed in an area with informed and willing hosts. South Bruce is one of two possible host areas remaining in the NWMO’s site selection process, the other is Ignace, in northwestern Ontario. The NWMO continues to work with the local municipality, community members and local Indigenous communities and plans to select a site in 2023.

The NWMO is a non-profit organization tasked with the implementation of Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term storage of used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository in a manner that protects people and the environment.