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Escaping an Echo Chamber

Councillor’s Corner - Wednesday June 27th, 2018
“In news media, echo chamber is a metaphorical description of a situation in which beliefs are amplified or reinforced by communication and repetition inside a closed system. By visiting an “echo chamber”, people are able to seek out information which reinforces their existing views. This may increase political and social polarization and extremism.[1] The term is a metaphor based on the acoustic echo chamber, where sounds reverberate in a hollow enclosure.”
Why am I so adamant and passionate about getting all the facts when it comes to the repository is because we are going to have to decide about this in the future.
I was really pleased that the Nuclear Waste Community Liaison Committee (NWCLC) invited guests that are not experts from the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) this past month. When we only hear our side to issues and only discuss those ideas with people that are liked minded we are not growing and discovering different thoughts, essentially, we are living in an echo chamber. By the NWCLC inviting differing points of view to the meetings we can be better informed and we are buffering from creating an echo chamber.
It was a pleasure to talk with Brennain Llyod, the Project Coordinator from Northwatch and discuss the evolution of this repository process. It was interesting to learn that this process has been in the works for decades and not just since the NWMO was created. It was also interesting to me that by moving the Nuclear Waste we can potentially create more of a hazardous situation for our country. There is so much to learn and get to know about this industry.
Listening to Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director and Counsel from the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) helped me understand the difference in a good engagement process and a poor one. There is definite evidence in our own community that we may have made a few mistakes along the way in this process. It was good also to know that processes can be fixed and changed. This presentation was encouraging to me that although we have very strong difference of opinion in our community about this project we may be able to steer it back to asking questions and really identifying with whether a repository fits with who we are as people.
At the meeting one resident asked an intriguing question that has had me thinking and I can’t remember exactly how it was phrased but essentially asked Does Hornepayne even have any say over what happens in Larkin Township?
The NWCLC meeting are monthly and are open to even one to attend. Recently, there was a slight change in the delivery of the meetings and there is opportunity for residents to ask questions after presentations now. Go to meetings, ask questions and get informed.
Happy Canada Day Hornepayne, be safe this weekend and have fun celebrating!
On a final but important note: Congratulations to all our graduates this week. It was a pleasure to attend the Grade 8 Grad and I look forward to the High School Graduation tomorrow night. May only the best the world has to offer be yours as you start you new adventures!
This column is open to all of council and Councillor Cheryl T Fort only submits when others have not submitted material.