Julia Roberts as Green Party Leader

Yet another example of the Erin Brockovich Effect can be found in this podcast from John Gormley Live today. The show discussed the potential for nuclear power plants in Saskatchewan, as mused by Brad Wall. First up was Jeremy Whitlock, the former president of the Canadian Nuclear Association, who provided insight to mini-nuke technology. Whitlock was informative, interesting and added real value to the show.

Then Gormley gave us the exact opposite of Whitlock in the person of Larissa Shasko, the leader of Saskatchewan’s Green Party. Among her dubious assertions was her linking of uranium mining with the strong prevalence of Multiple Sclerosis in the province.

That’s right: according to the leader of the provincial Green Party, uranium mining  might cause MS. And cancers too, for good measure.

Listen to the podcast. Shasko’s comments come at about 00:15:45.

So we have (a) a higher-than average incidence of MS, (b) an authority looking for someone to blame, resulting in (c) blaming a large, controversial industry in the area. (I used “area” loosely, as the nearest uranium mine is over 500 kilometres from Saskatoon.)

Now, anyone is within their rights to make sure that industrial activity minimizes their impact to people and the environment, and anyone is allowed to “ask questions”, as many activists put it. But “asking questions” is not the same thing as “making innuendo on a group using unsubstantiated information while preying on the ignorance of the general public,” and any leader of a political party, no matter how minor, must take responsibility for these accusations.

That means, be a grown-up and defend your accusations with evidence instead of petty little smears.

Silly. She’s a silly woman making silly comments, and deserves nothing more than ridicule.

Furthermore, Julia Roberts should return her Oscar.

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