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CONTRIBUTION · 18th May 2012
Gary Coons and John Disney
From John Disney, Economic Development Officer, Old Massett Village, Haida Gwaii.


This office continues to monitor for any radiation contamination in our environment. To date, May 16, 2012, we have recorded no readings that cause any kind of concern.

All our air readings, still being tested every 10 seconds 24/7, have been within background levels. We are learning some interesting things such as radiation levels from sunspot activity (this being an active sunspot year) and these are recorded and logged.

During the last month community members have brought in items from the beach for testing and everything has been normal. Also I had a parcel from Japan containing spices, tea, seaweed and mosquito repellent brought in for testing. All was fine. Finally I have tested local seaweed and a couple of household items and everything is looking clean and below background levels.

I am getting our data analysed by a competent analyst in Vancouver and he supplies me with monthly reports. They are more technical and full of terms and names that we don’t encounter everyday, however if anyone wants more detail or is interested in the complex world or radiation detection and monitoring I can forward these to you if you wish.

From a debate in the BC Provincial Legislature May 16, 2012

COASTAL RESPONSE PLAN FOR JAPANESE TSUNAMI DEBRIS See attached for FOI report obtained by MLA Gary Coons.


G. Coons: With each passing day, more debris from the Japanese tsunami is beginning to wash up on the coast of B.C. Last January the minister said he'd begin working with national and municipal officials to get ready.

Well, it's four months later, and local communities are still waiting. Regional districts are concerned about landfill issues and what to do with the debris being collected.

The mayor of Masset has called for a broader coordinated effort involving all levels of government. Robert Mills, chief councillor of the Skidegate band, says the Haida's first concern right now is the debris.

To the minister: when is this Liberal government finally going to step in and work with local governments and First Nations to put forward a real plan to deal with the growing tsunami debris on our shores?

Hon. T. Lake: We have formed a joint advisory committee with the federal government. We are working with local governments. We are working with First Nations. We are working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States, along with our west coast partners in Washington State, Oregon and Alaska.

There is no doubt that this will pose a challenge for all of us living on the west coast. But we are actively planning; we are working with volunteer groups. Anyone who finds any tsunami debris can go to our webpage, Ministry of Environment, and can register the material. We do ask people to handle it sensitively, because some of that may have real importance to the victims in Japan. We are coordinated that response, and we will be ready when the majority of that debris arrives on our shores in 2013.

Mr. Speaker: The member has a supplemental.

G. Coons: It appears that the minister's tsunami debris coordinating committee has failed to do any coordinating as such.

An estimated 25 million tonnes of debris is headed for our coast and is already hitting our shores. In Washington State all levels of government and the community are working together to respond. Yet here in B.C. the draft meeting minutes from the March 19 Japan tsunami debris coordination committee, which the minister talks about, noted that neither the terms of reference or the proposed organization structure was ready yet.

On Haida Gwaii last night, Masset and Old Massett held a joint council meeting. Ken Rae, chief councillor of Old Massett, asked why the province still hasn't provided any direction. He has a quote: "What is the holdup? Why hasn't the minister begun coordinating with First Nations and coastal communities to start the cleanup process and deal with landfill issues?"

To the minister: will he get on the phone and start coordinating?

Hon. T. Lake: Well, we certainly have started those efforts. At a joint cabinet meeting in Washington State, the Premier and the governor discussed this issue. I discussed it with the director of ecology, Mr. Ted Sturdevant. We are working with our Pacific coast collaborative members, as I've mentioned. We're working closely with the federal government and First Nations. I've discussed this with the Environment Minister nationally.

Despite what the member opposite may believe, we are coordinating this effort. We are working very closely with all the members of our team, and we do realize that this will take a huge effort on the part of government and on the part of volunteers up and down the coast.
But the sky is definitely not falling. We have time to prepare properly and responsibly. Anyone who finds any debris — I invite them to visit the Ministry of Environment webpage. They can register that debris at that e-mail address.

Terrace Daily Submission on the Subject.

In September 2011 we composed an article dealing with this issue, Read it here. It describes how a fully prepared plan was developed and distributed by a man from Japan who knew what was coming to BC. He warned first of the radiation, which fell on the west coast, and all the calamity long before anyone else. All politicians ignored his efforts.

None can say they were not forewarned by a person with substantial credentials. A professor from Japan working in the highest levels of the government there.

Attached to this article is his entire White Paper submission providing the framework for dealing with the issue of debris from Japan. All the Provincial and Federal Government needed to do was make it theirs, a full eight months ago!