The unscheduled knock on the door is something we very frequently associate with either bad news or something deeply unsettling. like the cops delivering bad news or a sales person and such.
Is the Federal Nuke Commish trying to send a message? What could Stevie have to say about this?
When Beverley Fernandez came to her front door one day last week, she found two Ontario Provincial Police constables patiently waiting.
Fernandez, who opposes plans to bury nuclear waste on the Lake Huron shoreline near her Kincardine-area home, was scheduled to testify at an environmental assessment hearing into the scheme.
The officers had tracked her down. Now, they told her, they were there to help. In particular, they wanted to help by knowing if her advocacy group, Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump, was planning any demonstrations.
They told her that plenty of plain clothed officers would be present at the hearings. They said they weren’t trying to stifle anyone’s free speech. And then, very politely, they left.
This performance was repeated with several dump-site critics but, curiously, none of the advocates of the plan except for Kincardine Mayor Larry Kraemer received such 'courtesy calls.'
Former provincial deputy environment minister Rod McLeod, who lives in the area, said he knows of at least six dump critics who were approached by police for a quiet chat.
The subliminal message, he said, is patently obvious: Behave yourself; we’ll be watching.
Who instigated these obvious attempts at intimidation? According to OPP Sgt. David Rektor, the liaison team took it upon themselves, as the OPP likes to have a “proactive approach” in situations where there might be “two ideas opposed to each other.”
Unfortunately, this version of 'the truth' does not square with that of the spokesman for Ontario Power Generation, Neal Kelly's. In an email, he said that the OPP’s “engagement” came at the request of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and “local municipalities.”
Perhaps the question of who instigated the 'visits' is ultimately of secondary importance. What is of paramount significance is the fact that the Ontario Provincial Police are attempting to intimidate and stifle the expression of an opinion that some do not like, clearly evidenced by the fact that none of the groups advocating for the nuclear dump site were visited.
OPP quiz opponents to Lake Huron nuclear dump prior to hearings: Walkom | Toronto Star