Transcript: Climate Watch Shorts: Buried contamination in the north | Mar 22, 2017

A black spinning globe appears next to the caption "TVO Climate Change Shorts."

A caption reads "Nam Kiwanuka. Climate Watch Shorts host."

Nam has curly brown hair and wears glasses, a denim shirt and a green blazer.

She says WELCOME TO CLIMATE
WATCH SHORTS,
WHERE WE EXAMINE THE LOCAL
IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE.
IN AN ABANDONED
MILITARY STATION
IN THE NORTHERNMOST
PART OF ONTARIO,
WARMING TEMPERATURES COULD
HAVE A DISASTROUS EFFECT
ON THE MATERIAL LEFT
OVER FROM THE COLD WAR.
AS THE PERMAFROST DISAPPEARS,
PEOPLE IN PEAWANUCK
ARE CONCERNED ABOUT
THE CONTAMINANTS
SEEPING INTO THE
ENVIRONMENT.
HERE'S WHAT
THEY SAY.

An archive clip rolls.

The announcer says HISTORY HAS PUT TO
OUR GENERATION
A GREAT CHALLENGE, THE
CHALLENGE OF BUILDING
A WORLD IN WHICH
PEACE WILL BE SECURE.

An old map of the Mid-Canada and Pinetree regions appear.

The announcer says AND BEYOND THE UNITED STATES,
FAR TO THE NORTH,
STRETCHES THE LATEST LINK
IN THE GIGANTIC NETWORK
OF SIGHT AND SOUND.
THE REMOTE RADAR STATIONS
OF THE DISTANT
EARLY WARNING SYSTEM.
TO ERECT THESE STATIONS
IN REGIONS FEW MEN
HAD EVER SEEN A SHORT
DECADE AGO, WAS ITSELF
AN ACHIEVEMENT OF
GREAT PROPORTIONS.
A caption reads "It was called the Mid-Canada Line. A series of radar bases built in the 1950s to warn against Soviet attach. Those bases are now abandoned. Asbestos, PDBs and other toxic materials were left behind or buried in the ground."

The caption changes to "Mike Hunter. Omushkego elder."

Mike is in his seventies, with short white hair and wears glasses, a camouflage jacket and a beige cap hat.

Mike says SO WHAT HAPPENED UP
THERE EVERY DAY
NOBODY KNOWS;
IT WAS TOP SECRET.

The caption changes to "Mike Hunter used to work at the RCAF based in Winisk in northern Ontario, before it was closed in 1965. Today, the provincial government is cleaning up the abandoned military sites. But some northern residents worry about the damage that may have already been done."

Mike says AND ALL THAT
HEAVY EQUIPMENT,
THE TRUCKS, THREE-QUARTERS
AND HALF-TON TRUCKS,
THEY WERE TOO EXPENSIVE
TO TAKE THEM OUT.
SO WHAT THEY DID, THEY JUST
DUG A HOLE IN THE GROUND
AND SMASHED THEM AND
BURIED THEM THERE.

The caption changes to "As the climate changes and the permafrost in northern Ontario disappears, any buried contaminants risk spreading into the ground and the surrounding environment."

Mike says I REMEMBER I WAS
HIRED MYSELF -
LOUIS BIRD AND MYSELF

FOR TWO WEEKS.
THERE WERE HUNDREDS
OF DRUMS FILLED WITH
ALL KINDS OF DIFFERENT
KINDS OF OIL.
AND ALL WE DID
FOR TWO WEEKS,
DUMPED THAT OIL AND
DUMPED IT ON THE GROUND.
FOR TWO WEEKS WE DID
THAT, SO I'D GO...

A caption reads "Louis Bird. Omushkego elder."

Louis is in his sixties, with short white hair. He wears brown trousers, a black and gray jacket and a green cap hat.

Louis says EVEN MYSELF I'VE BEEN
THERE; I WORKED THERE
DURING CONSTRUCTION.
AND I'VE BEEN WORKING
THERE OFF AND ON.
AND THERE ARE PEOPLE
WHO HAVE WORKED THERE
FOR A LONG TIME, OUR
PEOPLE, WEENUSK PEOPLE,
AND THEY BEGIN TO GET
SICK, THOSE GUYS.

Mike Hunter says PERMAFROST
CHANGING IS SOMETHING
THAT CAN AFFECT
THE WILDLIFE.

Louis says BECAUSE THEY
SMALL CHANGES THERE.
AND I'M THINKING
THAT'S THE WORLD,
THAT WAS THE WORLD
WE'RE CONCERNED ABOUT.
AT THAT TIME IT WAS
ONLY A SMALL PART
WHERE AS FAR AS WE
CAN SEE OURSELVES.
I SEE CHANGES THERE.
THE ANIMALS CHANGED, THE
BIRDS HAVE CHANGED
AND ALSO THE
CHANGED BEHAVIOUR.
THE GROUND IS CHANGING
AND THE BIRDS
BEGIN TO MOVE
AWAY FROM THERE.
BECAUSE IT'S NOT
AS GOOD ANYMORE
AS IT USED TO BE
BEFORE THEY CAME.

(music plays)

A caption reads "tvo.org/climatewatch."

Watch: Climate Watch Shorts: Buried contamination in the north