Released to the Press March 8, 2011
The people of Saskatchewan said, "No to nuclear. It is by far too expensive an option." The $30 million to further develop the Canadian Nuclear Studies Centre at the University of Saskatchewan merely trots Cameco, Bruce Power and the Nuclear Waste Management Organization in through the back door which is the University.
On March 2, 2011, Premier Brad Wall and Minister responsible for Innovation, Rob Norris, announced $30 million in public funding for a new nuclear research centre at the University of Saskatchewan. The announcement was greeted with great enthusiasm by University of Saskatchewan President Peter MacKinnon who said the new research centre will complement and strengthen the university's existing nuclear research infrastructure.
Quite the reverse: “Brad Wall's actions are having an adverse effect on the youth of this province whose universities are being turned into corporate research hubs funded by taxpayers’ dollars and rising tuition fees,” states Larissa Shasko, Leader of the Green Party of Saskatchewan.
Premier Brad Wall, in Grant Devine-style, has already ordered up an overall debt of $4.1 billion or $12.4 billion (depending on how you count it) for citizens to pay. The history of the nuclear industry in Ontario and in New Brunswick is one of expensive electricity, decades of heavy interest on debt loads and cost overruns. This $30 million for the nuclear industry through the University is a very small down payment on what is to come when the Governments at both levels (federal and provincial), the nuclear industry and the University come up with a plan for the industry.
Conflicts of Interest: The merry-go-round between the Federal Government, the Provincial Government and Cameco:
- Grant Isaacs, former Dean of the Edwards School of Business, U of S, becomes a senior Vice-President at Cameco
- Rob Norris, Vice-President of the University runs for the Sask Party and becomes Minister responsible for Higher Education
- Richard Florizone, Vice-President of Finance for the University, becomes Chair of the UDP Committee, the industry-stacked "Partnership" that puts forth Cameco and Bruce Power's plans for the nuclear industry in Saskatchewan
- The Provincial and Federal Governments put up tax-payer money
- University President Peter MacKinnon's term is up at the University
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper appoints Peter MacKinnon to the Committee that will make recommendations to the Prime Minister on the civil service.
- That leaves one seat vacant ... who now becomes the President of the University for the industry?
The Leader-Post March 5, 2011
“Though critics point to a near-$400-million increase in Saskatchewan's overall debt in 2011, to $8.3 billion, all of that increase is on the Crown corporation side where money is borrowed to pay for business development and new infrastructure. The government's own "public" debt remains unchanged at $4.1 billion.”