Essex MPP demands more government support for towns near U.S. nuclear plants

Call for action comes after a recent report by Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk said Ontario's emergency response for nuclear disasters is not good enough.

'They are leaving ... municipalities to fend for themselves should catastrophe strike,' says Taras Natyshak

Essex MPP Taras Natyshak, centre, was joined by Amherstburg Fire Chief Bruce Montone, right and Deputy Chief Lee Tome for a press conference at Queen's Park calling on Ontario's government to provide better support for communities near U.S. nuclear plants. (Office of Taras Natyshak)

Essex MPP Taras Natyshak and Amherstburg fire officials held a press conference at Queen's Park Wednesday to demand the provincial government provide more support for Ontario towns near U.S. nuclear plants.

The call for action came after a recent report by Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk said Ontario's emergency response for nuclear disasters is not good enough.

Amherstburg is about 16 kilometres from the Fermi II Nuclear plant in Michigan, yet it does not received the same level of support as communities near Canadian nuclear generating stations, according to Lysyk, including thyroid blocking pills, practice tests and emergency management.

A recent report by the Auditor General said Ontario's emergency response for nuclear disasters is not good enough. 1:00

"Local leaders have been speaking out for years, calling for the Liberal government to finally wake up and realize that they are leaving southwestern Ontario municipalities to fend for themselves should catastrophe strike," said Natyshak. "It's time for the Wynne government to finally take responsibility for emergency management and provide southwestern Ontario communities with the support they need."

Amherstburg gets $25,000 annually from Detroit, Mich.-based DTE Energy Co. which goes directly to a nuclear management program, funding things like the town's siren notification system.

Amherstburg Fire Chief Bruce Montone said the fire department receives no money from the Ontario government to be used for nuclear emergency preparedness. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

"We get nothing from Ontario," Montone previously told CBC News, adding that communities near nuclear power plants located in Ontario receive more than $100,000 a year in funding from the provincial government. 

"We are not nearly as prepared as we need to be."