New Brunswick government welcomes Ignatieff’s support for nuclear energy

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Federal Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff reaffirmed his support for nuclear energy before a receptive audience Thursday.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff responds to media questions after  speaking during a luncheon hosted by the Saint John Board of Trade on Thursday

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff responds to media questions after speaking during a luncheon hosted by the Saint John Board of Trade on Thursday

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Federal Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff reaffirmed his support for nuclear energy before a receptive audience Thursday.

Ignatieff told the Saint John Board of Trade in New Brunswick that while Canada risked losing its place as a world leader in nuclear technology, it is a crucial part of the country’s energy portfolio and its goals for reducing carbon emissions cannot be reached without it.

“This does require federal leadership and so, as I look to our energy future, nuclear is right in there,” Ignatieff said.

The strong support for nuclear power gained applause from at least one of New Brunswick’s politicians, who sees nuclear energy as an important part of the province’s goal of self-sufficiency and as central to developing Saint John’s energy hub.

“We’ve been a leader in nuclear industry, certainly in New Brunswick, for the last 25 years. Although I knew that (Ignatieff) was a strong supporter of nuclear energy, I’m glad to hear him reaffirm that,” provincial Energy Minister Jack Keir said.

In his speech, Ignatieff criticized the current state of the nuclear industry in Canada, citing the shutdown of the Chalk River reactor in Ontario and the subsequent isotope crises. He said a lack of proper management of crucially important nuclear energy projects was causing Canada to lag in nuclear technology, despite being a global leader for decades.

Keir and the provincial government have pushed hard to develop the Saint John energy hub, which aims to develop economic growth through various energy projects in the area. The nuclear reactor at Point Lepreau and a proposed second reactor are a large part of that.

Ignatieff’s reaffirmed support for nuclear energy was also welcomed by Keir because he said nuclear energy will play a more significant role in the province’s economy in the future.

It might also fill the hole left in the energy hub vision by the recent cancellation of a proposed $8-billion oil refinery in east Saint John.

Keir is one of the many proponents at the forefront of a proposal to build a second reactor at Point Lepreau, the site of Atlantic Canada’s only nuclear reactor.

But the proposed second reactor is being negotiated at a time when Canada’s nuclear Crown corporation — Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. — is being looked at for possible sale to the private sector. The proposed sale comes after the Chalk River reactor shutdown, the ongoing isotope crises and the Crown corporation’s problems finding international buyers for its Candus.

Keir said he hopes the uncertainties of AECL will be resolved soon.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet arrives at Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Air Canada agrees to $5.9-billion aid package, giving Ottawa equity stake in airline

$1.4 billion earmarked to help reimburse thousands of customers

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with Yukon Premier Sandy Silver as Liberal on Wednesday February 8, 2017 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Yukon headed for minority government as two main parties in a tie

Liberals came into the election looking to build on their surprise 2016 majority win

Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan takes part in a year-end interview with The Canadian Press at National Defence headquarters in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. Sajjan took aim at recent Chinese military expansions into the South China Sea this evening even as he faced questions about the Liberal government’s ties to Beijing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Sajjan targets Chinese claims in South China Sea, battles Tories over Beijing ties

HMCS Calgary shadowed for at least part of the voyage as it passed near the disputed Spratly Islands

Transport trucks approach the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. North American trade is facing a “critical moment” in the ongoing aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, say Canadian business leaders as they embark on a concerted campaign to fortify ties with the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
Canada-U.S. trade faces ‘critical moment’ that demands urgent action, businesses warn

Will fall to Canada to ensure its best interests are represented

Two RCMP officers observe a moment of silence to honour slain Const. Heidi Stevenson and the other 21 victims of the mass killings at a checkpoint on Portapique Road in Portapique, N.S. on Friday, April 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
RCMP under scrutiny one year after mass killing that left 22 dead in Nova Scotia

Questions raised about why it took police 13 hours to stop mass killing

FILE-Team Canada’s Meaghan Mikkelson fights for control of the puck with U.S.A.’s Hayley Scamurra during third period of Women’s Rivalry Series hockey action in Vancouver, Wednesday, February 5, 2020. Gina Kingsbury, Hockey Canada’s director of women’s national teams, hopes a Rivalry Series against the United States can happen this winter.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michael Dwyer
Canadian women’s hockey team to open selection camp in Nova Scotia

Six goaltenders, 15 defenders and 26 forwards will vie for spots on Canada’s 23-player roster

FILE - Rhian Wilkinson, left, and Melissa Tancredi of Canada’s women’s soccer team attend a news conference in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 to announce their retirement from the team. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Former Canadian international Rhian Wilkinson now part of England coaching setup

Wilkinson left Canada Soccer in January to join interim England head coach Hege Riise as an assistant

Canadian actor/producer/director Jay Baruchel is photographed at the 5 Drive-In Theatre in Oakville, Ont., ahead of the premier of Baruchel’s movie Random Acts of Violence, Wednesday, July 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
Jay Baruchel to host Amazon Prime Video’s ‘LOL: Last One Laughing Canada’

Final comedian left standing wins a grand prize for a charity of their choice

Letters
Letter: Leaders like MLA Jason Stephan should work towards greater good

Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan talks about the devastating social and… Continue reading

Opinion
Opinion: Women, hit hardest by pandemic, key to economic recovery

Events of the past year have laid bare the many disparities and… Continue reading

Children at the Port Angeles Boys & Girls Club practice social distancing throughout the day to minimize the spreading of germs and potentially the coronavirus. Photo courtesy of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula
Opinion: Teach young people these five principles

At all ages, young people may be the subject of mean behaviours… Continue reading

LtE bug
Letter: MLAs need to think about all Albertans

I was surprised to find more than a dozen UCP MLAs were… Continue reading

Most Read