Jul 202019

May 25, 2019


FROM:  Sandra Finley

TO:  Govt of Canada,  Impact Assessment Regulations,  Consultation on the proposed Project List

Bill C-69 will exempt Small Modular Reactors and other nuclear/uranium reactors from impact assessment.


The elephant in the room is CORRUPTION.   You have to deal with it.


It did not make sense that the Liberal Govt would throw weight behind nuclear energy as a response to climate change (2018).    If you know the cross-Canada history in the last decade of the nuclear/uranium industry, no political party would champion nuclear.

When things don’t make sense, try “follow the money”.  Cameco, nuclear/uranium)

From 2013 to 2014 Key Executive Compensation rose by 43% (from $10 million to $15 million), at a time when their share value had been in uninterrupted decline since February, 2011.   . . .

Today’s (2018) share value is down by 80% over its June 2007 high.

And the CRA is after it:  through off-shoring  The uranium producer estimates it has avoided declaring $4.9-billion in Canadian income, saving it $1.4-billion in taxes, over the last 10 years.


WHY?  would  Bill C-69 want to exempt Small Modular Reactors and other nuclear/uranium reactors from impact assessment?  


It’s explained in an email I sent to Minister McKenna, posted on my blog (http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=20712  ).   Please go to the posting for the first part of the email.


SECOND HALF OF THE EMAIL (the corruption):    

When a population fights a reactor because it will enslave them to very expensive electricity, at the cost of investing in alternatives, and

then turns around to fight the transportation of (the industry’s estimate in 2009, more now) 20,000 truckloads of accumulated high level radioactive waste, you may, as I did, come to view the nuclear industry as a Ponzi scheme.  Someone gets left holding the bag, at the end.   “Someone” is the good old, not-yet-angry-enough citizen.

It’s pretty simple:   a business needs a revenue stream to cover its costs.  The industry has old reactors in Ontario;  billions of dollars are being spent to extend their lives.   Costs go onto electricity bills.

The last “new” reactor began construction in July 1985,  more than three decades ago.

No new reactors means no new revenue streams to replace the old ones.

BUT,  simultaneously, the industry has (by its own estimates in 2009, more now) upwards of $24 billion for the cost of building a Repository for its accumulated waste.  That estimate does not include the cost of transporting all the waste to the site. (Some years ago, the industry was required to start putting money into a fund to address those eventual costs.  It has so far collected a small portion of the necessary money.)

There’s the Ponzi:

Without new reactors they don’t have a replacement revenue stream.  So, dwindling cash in-flow.  Large out-flows.  How are they going to pay the cost of accumulated waste disposal, an estimated $30 billion dollars?   What are the existing debt-loads?  There are contaminated sites to be cleaned up, at large expense.  There isn’t one insurance company willing to sell insurance to them.    A new reactor requires capital investment.  But investors don’t line up when the potential for returns looks lousy.

No new reactors?  . . . in a Ponzi, the last guy to buy in (Ontario?) ends up footing the bill.   Most of the other provinces have said. “It’s not going to be us.”

UNLESS  . . .  unless the industry has access to the public purse to foot the bills, they’re hooped.  Seems to me.

The Liberals appear to be gambling that they can use spin doctors and count on ignorant voters.  I don’t think we are that gullible.

(The first part of the letter to Minister McKenna (at (http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=20712  ) has

  • the record, by province, of “It’s not going to be us.”  And
  • sources for the following “Big push” by the Govt )

So WHY the big push, by the Trudeau Government, to commit Canada to nuclear reactors and to have other countries adopt them as a (false) answer to climate change?   . . .   follow the money.

When I read the words of Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr’s parliamentary secretary,

we have ensured that nuclear energy will have its place,

I went to Cameco’s website.  (If you don’t know Cameco, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cameco.)

Who are the current Executive and Board members?    https://www.cameco.com/about/board-of-directors 

 No longer:  Nancy Hopkins, Saskatoon corporate lawyer (with McKercher, the “Liberal” law firm)  who had been on the Cameco Board since 1992, had Cameco shares and options worth $1,001,871 in 2008;  $1,843,273 in 2009.

The fight over the North Sask River reactor was in 2009.  As mentioned, the reactor was defeated.  Not good news for Cameco’s share value.

The Fukishima nuclear reactor disaster was in March 2011, seven years ago.  Cameco shares fell, but had been falling.  The high was in mid-June, 2007,  $59.46 per share.  The next high, mid-Feb 2011, $41.34.   Down to $18.41 by the end of 2011;  no recovery – – trading around $12.00  in mid-March, 2018.   Today’s share value is down by 80% over its June 2007 high.

If Nancy did not unload her shares, the value of her portfolio investment in Cameco has plummeted.  The same is true for other Executive members of Cameco.  But investment in Cameco shares is only part of the money.

What does the compensation look like for Cameco Executives?  What’s at stake for them, or for the aspiring executives to succeed them, if the industry can’t bring new reactors on-stream?  It will be compensation + perks + share value + intangibles of being on the Board (influence, connections).


(Ref, chart from:  http://quote.morningstar.ca/Quicktakes/Insiders/ExecutiveCompensation.aspx?t=CCJ


Key Executive Compensation












Timothy S. Gitzel/President and Chief Executive Officer 4,772,534 4,720,325 5,099,097 5,917,347 5,924,134


Grant E. Isaac/Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer 1,818,511 1,760,075 2,791,418 2,076,531 2,558,113


Robert Steane/Senior Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer 2,396,780 2,223,135 2,591,850 3,370,965 2,624,740


Alice Wong/Senior Vice-President and Chief Corporate Officer 1,246,179 1,172,529 2,198,320 1,552,552 1,679,768


Sean Quinn/Senior Vice-President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary 621,360 2,381,550 1,700,442 1,660,150


These people are in the 1%, having been given access to a public resource, once owned by a Crown Corporation.   From 2013 to 2014 Key Executive Compensation rose by 43% (from $10 million to $15 million), at a time when their share value had been in uninterrupted decline since February, 2011.   And just after the CRA – – –

Grant Isaac was into his fourth year with Cameco (Chief Financial Officer), Nancy Hopkins, corporate lawyer, her 21st year on the Board, when the CRA went after Cameco, over offshore shell companies:

The uranium producer estimates it has avoided declaring $4.9-billion in Canadian income, saving it $1.4-billion in taxes, over the last 10 years.

2013-05-01   Cameco’s $800-million tax battle, Globe & Mail  

(Update:  2017-08-17 Cameco wins PROCEDURAL victory in offshore ‘transfer pricing’ tax battle, (not the end of the case)  Financial Post)


Citizens were pretty pissed.  We pay taxes, they don’t.  That’s not all.  Intolerable conflicts-of-interest:

Nancy served as a Director on the Board of Governors of the University of Saskatchewan from 2005-2013, serving as the Chair of the Board in the last three years. Nancy also sat on the Board of Cameco Corporation (CCO on the TSX; CCJ on the NYSE) for 24 years, and, in that time, chaired the Compensation Committee, the Audit Committee, and the Governance Committee. (https://www.mcdougallgauley.com/people/nancy-hopkins/)

During Nancy’s time as Chair of the University Board of Governors, the Provincial Government of Brad Wall transferred (2011) between $30 and $47 million to the University EAR-MARKED for the nuclear industry.  (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/sask-spending-30m-on-nuclear-research-centre-1.987996 ).  Nancy did not protect University autonomy by insisting that public funding of the University has to be “no strings attached”.  Further:

Grant Isaac was Dean of the Edwards School of Business at the U of S.   In July, 2009, Cameco Corp hired him; in 2011 he became Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer.   In January 2013, Grant was appointed by the Government to the Board of Governors of the University.

(I met with Grant when he was still Dean of the Business School, to understand whether what is taught in Economics classes is still the same as it was when I was a student there, (1967-71).   Grossly deficient economic indicators, GDP, the ability of corporations to offload costs to the public to pay, etc..   The answer was “yes”.   Grant put it this way:   “If there was a way to change it, it would have been done by now.”   So, no problem teaching junk to students.   That was in 2008 when the faculty was still on strike (http://www.cupe1975.ca/index_archive_071106.html ).  Grant went to Cameco in summer 2009.  Would he have been selected if he had been active in seeking changes to a flawed economic system that is taking the planet to the brink?

(INSERT, UPDATE:  OTHER universities ARE doing something:   2018-03-21     Hallelujah! GDAE Textbooks for Economics Courses (Tufts University))

There are no laws in Saskatchewan to prohibit corporate (or union) donations to political parties.


In  2009, the President of the University, Peter McKinnon, was hosted at Cameco’s fly-in fishing lodge,  Yalowega Lake, in northern Saskatchewan.   The Lodge has its own gourmet chef.   https://briarpatchmagazine.com/articles/view/follow-the-yellowcake-road.

McKinnon (who was dean of the Law School, before becoming President of the U) attacked those who challenged Nancy Hopkins’ conflict-of-interest (heavily invested in Cameco, Chair of the U Board of Governors, involved in decisions re allocation of university priorities and Government funding for the nuclear industry).  He angrily declared that there was no conflict-of-interest.

So,  WHO ELSE is on the Board?  And does it have any bearing on my question:

WHY the big push, by the Trudeau Government, to commit Canada to nuclear reactors?  It doesn’t make sense – – the level of resistance right across the country is high, and known.   The last “new” reactor began construction 30+ years ago.   To go into international negotiations and try to foist nuclear energy on other countries, when your own citizens won’t tolerate it, only undermines the integrity of Canadian business.    What’s up?


Anne McLellan?   She was brought onto the Cameco Board in 2006.  You may recall Anne – – for years, the only federal Liberal elected in the West (Edmonton).   Served 4 terms.  She was Federal Minister of Justice, of Health, of Natural Resources, Deputy Prime Minister, , ,  under Paul Martin and Jean Chretien.

A Liberal of influence.  Was awarded an Order of Canada.   After politics she went on corporate boards.   She earns more than a million dollars a year from her board work.  I assume there’s a reason why she was called to the Board of Cameco.


On February 11, 2016, as Natural Resources Minister, Carr purchased seven tickets to a NHL game featuring the Winnipeg Jets versus the Boston Bruins. His guests included the energy ministers . . . .

Carr represents the riding of Winnipeg South Centre,   https://www.ourcommons.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members/Jim-Carr(89059).

Kim Rudd, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, Jim Carr, from Cobourg, represents the Ontario riding of  Northumberland—Peterborough South

Her speech to the Canadian Nuclear Association on February 22, 2018:

. . .meeting again in Copenhagen in May and we have ensured that nuclear energy will have its place in a broad, high-level discussion on a global transition to a low-carbon economy,”

Jerri Rudd,  “spokesperson for Natural Resources Canada”,  “Nuclear energy is an important part of Canada’s current clean energy basket and will continue to play a key role in achieving the country’s low-carbon future.”

who is she?  see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerri_Southcott    


Anyhow, there you go.   When I followed the money, on the thing that didn’t make sense to me – – if I know the list of provinces that have fought against nuclear and won – – the extent of the dedicated “no to nuclear“  (for good sound economic reasons – – as a tax-payer and consumer, I’m getting screwed), surely the Liberal Party knows the same.   I conclude it is not the interests of Canadians that are being served.   Yet again.   Corruption trumps.

For your consideration, Minister McKenna.

For your sake, for the sake of  Tax-payers’ wallets, for the sake of democracy and integrity, I wish it was otherwise.

Best regards,  Sandra Finley

= = = = = =


Bill C-69 will exempt Small Modular Reactors and other nuclear/uranium reactors from impact assessment.   For whose benefit?


The elephant in the room is CORRUPTION.   You have to deal with it. 


= = = = = =


Real-life examples of the propaganda you will receive from the industry.    From a presentation by the industry to the American National Academy of Science (NAS), in Saskatoon. The state of Virginia was under petition to lift its 30-year moratorium on uranium/nuclear.  The NAS came to Saskatchewan to collect information on first-hand experience with uranium/nuclear.


I sent the documentation of the propaganda, in support of what Grand Chief Patrick Madahbee was saying.

2018-04-23 Nuclear: In support of Grand Chief Patrick Madahbee, email to CBC (The Current).    http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=20981

= = = = = =

Corruption is a serious issue in Canada.   There are million-dollar salaries and perks to keep in place.  Some MP’s are very well rewarded upon retirement, for Good Service to Industry.  Bill C-69, no Impact Assessment for nuclear?  Ya gotta be kidding.
Submitted, with hope of a vote for the Public Interest.
Sandra Finley
(contact info)

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