The NWMO will:
- Build supportive and resilient partnerships with communities leading to mutually agreeable partnership agreements; and
- Select the preferred site for the deep geological repository in an area with informed and willing hosts.
The NWMO is committed to supporting community well-being by allocating funding to each potential host community to advance community-led projects. These funds are intended to support the community’s continuing efforts to build community sustainability and well-being, to support capacity-building to participate in discussions to explore partnership with the NWMO, and to host the project in the future through the development of transferable skills. Municipalities in the siting process continue to express interest in enhancing relationships with their Indigenous neighbours, which we are working to facilitate through our engagement efforts.
Starting from the bottom and moving upwards, the road map guides our discussions about partnership with communities.
In Ignace, the conversation around a values and principles exercise continues with the newly elected municipal government, with the potential for additional work to be initiated based on those discussions. In South Bruce, the municipality established 36 guiding principles that reflect the community’s priorities and expectations. Each topic in our partnership road map builds on the values and principles the communities identify to guide our discussions, ensuring the project is implemented in a manner that enhances community well-being.
After a site is identified in 2024, our work will shift from building awareness, understanding the potential to support well-being and gaining confidence in the safety of the project, including safety from a social perspective, to implementation and governance of the partnership agreements. Youth engagement will remain a priority, given the intergenerational nature of the project and the need for intergenerational transfer of knowledge to support implementation of the project.
In the period from 2023 to 2027, the NWMO will also:
- Continue engaging municipalities, First Nation and Métis communities in the siting areas, and surrounding communities to build awareness of the project and develop and sustain relationships, taking into account traditional laws, practices and use of land;
- Work with the siting communities to continue to build awareness of the project in the region;
- Engage communities within the siting areas to understand how safety from a social perspective can be supported, including aspects such as community cohesion and well-being;
- Identify other potential partners and build supportive and resilient relationships;
- Ensure communities engaged in the siting process have the resources and information they need to fully participate in siting activities and make an informed decision;
- Develop mutually agreeable hosting agreements in each siting area, and after a site is selected, begin implementing the agreements in the siting area that is continuing into the regulatory decision-making process; and
- Ensure through partnership that communities have sufficient resources to actively participate in the regulatory decision-making process.