Toronto

Ontario cottage owners want moratorium on uranium mining

Property owners in Haliburton and Muskoka are pressing the Ontario government to ban uranium exploration and mining in cottage country.

Property owners in Haliburton and Muskoka are pressing the Ontario government to ban uranium exploration and mining in cottage country.

They say they're concerned their health, peace and tranquillity will be compromised by prospecting and exploration.

Prospectors looking for uranium have staked claims to 3,600 hectares of land in the area.

Suzanne Lauten has a cottage on Gull Lake, 19 kilometres from land staked for uranium exploration.

Her group, Cottagers Against Uranium Mining and Exploration, is calling for a moratorium on uranium mining and a cap on all mining in southern Ontario.

Haliburton-area prospector Ken Sibley says if that happens it would be economically devastating.

"When you shut the mining you shut off the jobs. There's silver, there's copper, there's more to mine other than uranium," said Sibley. 

Cottage associations point out that the property taxes seasonal homeowners pay to local municipalities will disappear if cottagers are chased away by mining activity.

Robin Simpson of the group Fight Uranium Mining and Exploration says cottagers could have problems selling their properties. 

"If you're staked you're screwed. Who would buy it?" says Simpson. 

But Sibley says he doubts the price of uranium will justify mining in Haliburton.

"You have to prove that there's something on there feasible enough to dig a hole," he said.

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