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What is our WHY?

Councillor's Corner - Wednesday October 4, 2017
Tonight is our regular council meeting. You are welcome to attend. For those of you thinking of running in next year’s election attending meetings ahead of time is a great opportunity to get a grip of the things that are happening in our community.
This past week I attended a Nuclear Waste Community Liaison Committee (NWCLC) meeting. I do not sit on this committee but I have attended meetings to get an understanding of what the committee is facing. People often ask me whether I am pro nuclear or against. My answer is that I am pro-Hornepayne. Do I think Nuclear Waste is the answer? I am not too sure. I am still investigating that. From my position on council it is imperative for me to ask some hard questions and swim against the current, so that I have a well rounded perspective for good decision-making.
So here is some food for thought:
1.) Shortly after Nuclear arrived on the scene in our community, there has been a division of opinion. Our current state is that we are polarized and are not having open dialogue with those for and against. We all live in this community and although we don’t agree we definitely need to hear each other. There are legitimate fears and concerns tagged with Nuclear Waste and there would be some economic benefits as well. The fears associated with Nuclear Waste are not only safety concerns but community atmosphere. The community atmosphere will change if Hornepayne gets the Nuclear Repository and what exactly will that look like. This needs to be discussed. Growth that happens at an expedited rate can be very unhealthy for a community unless it is properly managed. We need to be ahead of that growth. Ultimately at the core of the issue is Why? Why do we want or do not want Nuclear? Further that, future Hornepayne, WHY will we be…because of Nuclear or because we are a great community. Nuclear can not be our WHY. Hornepayne does not and has never existed just to be the town of a Nuclear Waste Repository.
2.) Benjamin Franklin said “If we fail to plan we plan to fail.” In Hornepayne we have failed in the past. We have a great grey monstrosity sitting in the heart of community because we failed to plan for that building from the beginning. When the mall was built there was no plan to ensure it’s doors would not shut. There was a race against time when we finally realized that the funding for the mall had run out and there was no plan in place for what to do next. We need to plan and decide on some risk. I am not pointing the finger here either. We can not sit back and just blame past councils, but we as a community need to take responsibility. We all need to let our voices be heard. The decisions sometimes at council are so heavily weighed that it must of been a hard day to make the decision to close the doors on the mall.
3.) Since the closure of the mall, we have been in the Learnmore process with Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO). Although I will probably be shunned for saying so but is it a coincidence that building new infrastructure and new growth halted/slowed in our community since then? Have we put all our eggs in one basket? What would Hornepayne look like if we hadn’t gotten involved in the Learnmore process? Would we have been more creative in our methods to approach issues in our town? I do not say this to create dissension but to create conversation. Hornepayne, Nuclear Waste can be a real possibility for our community and it can be a real possibility it will not be here, what are we going to do in either case…coincidentally the same thing. We need to plan for growth. We need to plan to survive. We need to plan to build.
So we need to explore and examine our WHY. WHY is Hornepayne going to exist. We all only have one life and it will pass us by before we know it. It is my dream to see a vibrant, healthy and sustainable Hornepayne. A place where all people, young and old have opportunities to live and create a life that they will be proud of. So get involved and let your voice be heard, talk to a councillor or the mayor. Let them know how you see our future. Don’t sit back on the stigma that it will fall on deaf ears, I am listening and the rest of council is too, we all work hard at trying to make our community better.
Cheryl T Fort
More information below:
Book: “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek