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My critics are wrong to say I ‘support’ nuclear power. Plus: Steve Fonyo’s fall.

Today a potpourri.

First, to correct a misimpression making the email circuit, I have never pronounced support for nuclear power. Here’s what I said in The Tyee:

“I do not, repeat not, say we should adopt a nuclear power program in B.C., only that we stand back and look at nuclear with a jaundiced eye but still look. We are, under the Campbell Liberals, bound and determined to destroy our rivers. Campbell, nose growing all the time, says we need the power and that’s why our rivers must be sacrificed. His nose stretches because we do not need the power and even if we did, private river projects won’t help because they only produce power when BC Hydro doesn’t need it. But if there’s a valid alternative, shouldn’t we look at it?

“There are, as I see it, these concerns to be dealt with, any one of which would negate the arguments for nuclear energy.

“1. Is it, under 2009 conditions and knowledge, safe? Even if it’s safe under everyday circumstances, could terrorists use it to create an atom bomb-like disaster?

“2. How do we dispose of the waste? It’s been this problem that has for many people made the issue a non starter.

“3. Is it cost effective? We know that they haven’t been but are the numbers better now?

“4. Is it really green, considering what it takes to build and maintain a facility?

“We would be damned fools to rush into a pro-nuclear policy but also damned fools not to consider it.”

Fonyo’s unfair fall

It’s tragic that Steve Fonyo, who completed Terry Fox’s run, has been stripped of his Order of Canada.

I followed his run very carefully, broadcasting live interviews with Steve as he progressed. It was a very gutsy performance but from the outset you knew that many people — including the media — didn’t want him to make it and, to their way of thinking, “show up” Terry. To say he didn’t get the sort of media and public adoration Terry got is a masterpiece of understatement.

Steve was a troubled young man who had a hard time understanding why there was this resentment in the air. I interviewed him many times after his run and it was obvious that this was affecting Steve and he responded badly. The booze got to him and he started getting into trouble. He has scarcely been out of trouble since but his offences have been largely due to alcohol and none of which you would classify as serious.

He was not cut from the same cloth as was Terry Fox. He appears to be as unstable as Terry is stable.

Steve was very proud of his Order on Canada. I wonder why a true hero is stripped of his honour because of relatively minor sins he has committed while a disgraced former Prime Minister and a crooked newspaper magnate keep theirs.

Anyone who doubts that Orders of Canada are political as hell should ponder this question.

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