By Jim Harding, 272 pages, Fernwood Publishing, ISBN 9 7815 5266 2267, $24.95.
Jim Harding offers nothing less than a blockbuster with this densely-packed book that will make readers rage at the cynicism of politics. The “Nuclear Development Party” – Saskatchewan's NDP – come off as a particularly nasty bunch.
Harding paints the province's sometimes-fabled left-wing party that brought medicare to Canada as an organization that time and again turned its back on good environmental sense and ignored the clear and constant wish of its grassroots. Once re-elected in 1992, it abruptly rejected the anti-nuclear position it had adopted while in opposition to the Grant Devine Tory government.
The NDP's close dance with nuclear goes back to the venerable Tommy Douglas himself. The author, who idolized Douglas, was shocked when as a young political neophyte he discovered that the Great Leader had such links.
One often thinks that faraway, sparsely-populated flatlands like Saskatchewan have somehow retained their purity. All the nastelling the truth.
“One is really talking about storage ient Saskatchewan right in the eye of the hurricane when it comes to geo-politics. In fact, the province played a vital role in the twentieth-century's love-affair with nuclear bombs and nuclear power.
Harding cuts to the chase quickly, repeatedly, and from countless angles.
First, people can't claim with clear consciences that Saskatchewan uranium is only used for peaceful purposes. It is impossible to know for certain whether the province's uranium ends up in nukes. Second, supposing that it doesn't end up in nukes, when used in America or France's nuclear energy system, Saskatchewan's uranium frees up a corresponding amount of uranium in those countries which they can then put into their weapons programs.
Second, Harding rejects the belief that uranium is a clean fuel. This is wrong for two reasons. The extraction of uranium from the ground takes an exorbitant amount of fossil fuel, and theno matter what the general public wants.