Donna Dillman, a grandmother of four in North Frontenac County, ended her hunger strike on December 13, after citizens'groups announced they would hold public hearings on uranium mining and exploration in Ontario. She had been on strike since October 8 and had intended to fast until the provincial government agreed to a moratorium on uranium exploration and mining for Eastern Ontario.
Letter from Mike Nickerson, Donna's husband:
October 17, 2007
You may have heard that my wife, Donna Dillman, started a hunger strike outside the gate of the uranium mine proposed for up river from Ottawa. Donna stopped eating Thanksgiving morning, October 8, and aims to continue until there is a moratorium placed on uranium exploration and mining, at least for Eastern Ontario.
Needless to say I am concerned about the woman I love shrinking away in a camp on Highway 509 without running water or electricity. This story, however, has much more to do with the grandchildren. Donna and I have four, two of which live 30 km. down wind from the proposed site. If drilling and mining were to go ahead, these young people would be subjected to the various radioactive dusts and gasses that inevitable drift up when steel and dynamite, crushers and sorters break up uranium bearing rock.
Bring Gramma Home!
Aged between one and a half and eight years, the grandchildren are oblivious of the problem their grandmother is boldly calling public attention to. They only want her to come home.
You can help.
Make a sign that says BRING GRAMMA HOME and put it in your window, on your lawn, or wear it on your lapel. When anyone asks what's up? The conversation is started; you can tell them.
While the personal story of grandchildren asking for their grandmother has popular appeal, the stakes of this issue are far more profound.
The danger of radioactive contamination and other environmental degradation is shared by more than a million people who live downwind and downstream from the site (Sharbot Lake to Ottawa). Hundreds of millions more face similar dangers from other such sites around the world.
Sooner or later we are going to have to pay respect to what the Earth and Sun offer on an ongoing basis. Nuclear energy is only tempting us to think that we can ignore this responsibility. Were we to shift our electricity demand to nuclear power, uranium reserves would be depleted in 30 to 40 years.Then, the grandchildren would find themselves saddled with the same problems we are trying to avoid today, except that the problems would be far worse.The resources available for working on solutions would be diminished and there would be quantities of radioactive waste, here, there and about, to haunt them for tens of thousands of years to come.
Both the Earth and the Sun are hugely abundant. Together they have enabled life to thrive for thousands of millions of years.Humans are fully capable of being successful here. By saying yes to living within the natural process of life on Earth, we can avoid freeing the genie of uranium from the rock in which it is trapped. Civilization is now at the height of its possibilities, if this generation cannot meet the challenge of sustainability, how do we expect the grandchildren to do so when it comes?
To stay informed about Donna's hunger strike, she posts a regular blog at www.ccamu.ca, the web site of the Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium CCAMU.
Premier Dalton McGuinty
Main Legislative Building
Room 281, Queens Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A1