The Society held an innovative full-day workshop on March 23 about the province’s nuclear industry.
A chance for elected and staff union representatives to learn about the latest industry developments, the seminar featured executives in the public and private sectors of the industry, as well as remarks by a Member of Provincial Parliament who also serves as the parliamentary assistant to Ontario’s Minister of Energy.
IFPTE’s International President Gregory Junemann and Secretary-Treasurer Paul Shearon attended the workshop along with The Society’s sister IFPTE Local 164.
“I was impressed by The Society’s ability to get leading decision-makers in the sector into one room on one morning,” said Junemann. “Bringing union representatives into the same room as industry executives and government decision-makers to learn from one another and improve the way we advocate for jobs in nuclear is how we’re going to keep this industry strong for this generation of professionals and the next.”
Among the speakers at the workshop were Jeff Lyash, CEO of Ontario Power Generation; Len Clewett, chief nuclear officer at Bruce Power; Ken Nash, president of Ontario’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization; David Harris, president of Kinectrics; and John MacKinnon, president of AMEC NSS.
The second half of the day was limited to IFPTE representatives. Using the information presented on the industry in the morning, participants developed new ideas for working collaboratively with the rest of the industry while continuing to provide strong workplace representation.
Society president Scott Travers hosted the workshop and said that the consensus within the industry is that exciting if challenging times lie ahead.
“Ontario’s largest nuclear generating stations are moving ahead with recently approved refurbishments that will extend their lives by dozens of years. That’s the exciting part,” said Travers. “The challenge for all of us in the industry is that the government is holding our feet to the fire by promising to end refurbishment projects if we can’t stay on time and on budget throughout.”
“That’s why now more than ever Ontario’s nuclear industry has to be working closely together to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. That’s why we’re going to keep working with everyone in the industry like we did with the nuclear workshop.”