The NWMO’s President and CEO shares message of collaboration with Ignace

Agimak Lake

The NWMO’s President and CEO Laurie Swami commented on the beauty of Agimak Lake during her presentation to Ignace Council.

The NWMO’s President and CEO Laurie Swami shared a message of collaboration and the potential for future partnership with the community of Ignace this week.

At Ignace Council, on Tuesday, February 16, Swami took time to reflect on 2020, lay out plans for 2021 and thank local leaders, municipal staff and residents who have been contributing to advancing Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel.

“I want to thank you all, both personally and on behalf of the NWMO for your ongoing contributions to this important national environmental infrastructure project,” Ms. Swami said. “We greatly value our relationship with the community of Ignace and although 2020 has been a challenging time for all of us, we remain hopeful and excited for what 2021 will bring. We also recognize that now, more than ever, is the time for us to come together.”

She also discussed how the connection between Ignace and the NWMO has strengthened in the past year and will continue in 2021 with several new positions being filled.

“There is important work to be done in Ignace in the coming years and we look to the skilled workforce in Ignace to fill those positions,” Swami said. “It is important to Canada’s plan to bring local expertise to our work and these new jobs offer a boost to the local economy.”

The NWMO has eight full-time staff currently working in the Ignace area in a number of diverse fields including geology, engineering, project management, public engagement and more. If the deep geological repository project is brought to Ignace, it would be an economic engine for many decades for the community, and for Northwestern Ontario. This is a national infrastructure project with an estimated cost of more than $21 billion over its 150-year timeframe.

During the construction phase, it is estimated that the project will create more than 1,100 jobs per year. During the operations phase, it is expected the number of jobs will increase to an average more than of 1,300 per year. In both cases, this includes direct, indirect and induced employment involving scientists, engineers, tradespeople, and others.

  • Direct jobs are jobs at or near the repository site, including skilled and semi-skilled employment during construction and operations.
  • Indirect jobs are created by suppliers and contractors working on the project, such as food catering, accommodation, transportation, and equipment.
  • Induced jobs are created in retail and professional services by expenditures of people employed in direct and indirect jobs.

Ignace, along with South Bruce, Ontario is one of two remaining siting areas in the NWMO’s site selection process. The NWMO is tasked with implementing Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term storage of used nuclear fuel in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come in an area with informed and willing hosts.