NAYGN Lobbying for Nuclear at CNA Queen’s Park Day

By Matthew Mairinger, Senior Advisor Stakeholder Relations, Ontario Power Generation
Originally published at naygn.org, January 14, 2019

Similar to when North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN) participated in the Canadian Nuclear Association’s (CNA) Parliament Hill Day, NAYGN participated in the CNA Queen’s Park Day on Nov. 26.

With 50,000 Ontarians employed across the province’s nuclear industry and nuclear supplying 60 per cent of Ontario’s needs, the politicians at Queen’s Park seemed quite receptive to nuclear.

The day kicked off with a briefing and overview of government priorities and then participants from NAYGN, Women in Nuclear (WiN), labour unions and the CNA broke off into 11 teams. The teams travelled to Queen’s Park to meet with Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs), policy advisors and deputy ministers to advocate for nuclear. During the day, participants also attended Question Period which turned out to be a heated discussion since General Motors had just announced the closure of the Oshawa GM plant.

From left, Jay Patel (NAYGN Bruce), Bonita Chan (NAYGN Chalk River), Hon. Greg Rickford (Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs), Matthew Mairinger (NAYGN Canadian Affairs Chair), Fabricia Pineiro (NAYGN Mississauga) and Yousef Yacoob (NAYGN Kinetrics).

“The Queens Park Day organized by CNA was a great opportunity to promote the importance of having a sustainable nuclear workforce,” said Fabricia Pinero of NAYGN Mississauga. “The engagement of young professionals is vital to help shape policies that support our generation’s priorities and encourage future ones to join.”

From left: Julie Bartlev (WiN-Canada), Yousef Yacoob (NAYGN Kinetrics), Hon. Bill Walker (Minister of Government and Consumer Services) andAndrew Thiele (Bruce Power).

“I’m very glad that I had the opportunity to meet with MPPs Nina Tangri, Vincent Ke, Norm Miller, the Hon. Bill Walker, and other members of our Legislative Assembly at the Canadian Nuclear Association’s Queens Park Day,” said Yousef Yacoob, of NAYGN Kinetrics.

“It was a pleasure to share some of the current innovations driven by Ontario’s nuclear industry; including the far-reaching impacts in medicine, clean energy, technology, and our local economy; and the role of the young generation.”

From left: Bruce Harris (IBEW Representative), Jay Patel (NAYGN Bruce), Amarjot Sandhu (MPP – Brampton West), Laurie Fraser (WIN representative) and Elan Thomas (Kinectrics).

“Participating in the Queen’s Park day organized by CNA was a very rewarding experience,” said Jay Patel from NAYGN Bruce. “It was a great opportunity for all representatives to advocate for nuclear energy and speak of its societal benefits to MPPs.

“It was admirable to see other CNA, WIN and Labour Union representative’s passion about nuclear energy and jobs in the industry, while advocating in front of all MPPs. The day also provided an opportunity for me to meet successful leaders within the nuclear industry and learn from their years of experience, which I can then take back to share with my co-workers.”

From left: Sandra Sylxhoorn (OPG), Bonita Chan (NAYGN Chalk River), Natalie Des Rosiers (MPP for Ottawa-Vanier) and Terry Armstrong (ES Fox).

“It was very rewarding to be reassured by MPPs that what we’re doing with NAYGN makes a difference in the industry,” explained Bonita Chan of NAYGN Chalk River. “Things like volunteering in the community we live in, advocating for the industry, providing career development opportunities for young nuclear professionals are just some of the things that they were happy to learn NAYGNers are partaking in.”

From left: John Stewart (CNA), Matthew Mairinger (NAYGN Canada), Paul Calandra (MPP for Markham-Stoufville, PA to the Minister of Energy), Michael Courtney (SNC Lavalin) and Ralph Chatoor (Society of United Professionals).

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