OPG in Bruce County: Community Update – September 2021

Fred Kuntz, Sr. Mgr., Corporate Relations and Projects | Bruce County

Honouring survivors: On September 30 in Canada, we observe National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day, to honour Canada’s residential-school survivors, their families and communities.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2008-15 found that sexual, physical and mental abuse of Indigenous children at residential schools created life-long and intergenerational trauma. Designed to kill Indigenous language and culture, the schools broke apart families, delivered deliberately poor education, increased rates of chronic and infectious diseases, and caused distress, depression, addiction and suicides. In 2021, hundreds of bodies of children were discovered at former school grounds, in unmarked graves.

We all have a role to play in reconciliation. At Ontario Power Generation (OPG), we are committed to building and growing long-term, mutually beneficial working relationships with Indigenous communities near our operations. In the Bruce area, OPG has agreements and engages regularly with Saugeen Ojibway Nation, Historic Saugeen Métis and Métis Nation of Ontario. Our relationships are developed on a foundation of respect for the languages, customs, cultural institutions and rights of Indigenous communities in Ontario. Our goal is to build and preserve openness, transparency and trust.

Virtual Pumpkinfest: You still have two more Wednesdays to get your OPG Pumpkin Packs, Sept. 22 and 29, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Hi-Berry Farm, north of Port Elgin on Highway 21. The free packs contain fun and educational activities for families, themed to the virtual Pumpkinfest celebration. Remember to submit a photo of your carved pumpkin to the OPG-sponsored contest by Oct. 1. For more information, visit www.opg.com/events/pumpkin-pack-wednesdays

Around Ontario and beyond:

.  Wonders of Helium-3: Laurentis Energy Partners, an OPG subsidiary, this week announced production of Helium-3, a rare and valuable isotope used in medical imaging, border security, quantum computing and neutron research. Laurentis extracts the gas from tritium containers at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, then ships it through a distributor to hospitals, researchers and other end-users globally. Laurentis has offices in the Toronto and Hamilton region, New Brunswick, Romania – and also here in Bruce County, where it supports the nuclear industry with field services such as inspections.

  • Nuclear for Net-Zero: Today is the conclusion of the Canadian Nuclear Association’s 2021 conference, which this year was themed “Leading Innovations to Achieve a Net-Zero World.” Speakers from across Canada addressed the vital role of nuclear in helping to address climate change. Ontario Energy Minister Todd Smith also described this province as “ready to become an isotope superpower,” adding to its production of medical isotopes at CANDU stations for use around the world. While the conference was held online to ensure safety amid the ongoing pandemic, many participants expressed hopes of returning safely to an in-person meeting in 2022.
  • Breaking barriers: Women in OPG’s Advanced Inspection and Maintenance (AIM) division broke new ground with an all-female dive in August, one of the first in the company’s history. Samantha Hood, Elizabeth Cole, Drew Burstahler and Jaimie Dack conducted underwater maintenance on Pickering Nuclear’s Fish Diversion System, a 600-metre net that prevents fish from entering the plant’s cooling systems.