AECL documents left in newsroom

- Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt left behind secret documents relating to federal funding of Atomic Energy Canada Limited in a CTV News office.

The documents, many of which were labeled "secret", detailed funding of the Crown corporation, Conservative strategy and other background material pertaining to the sale of AECL's Candu division.

The documents also state that the federal government has been putting more money into AECL than it publicly acknowledged in the budget. As quoted from the CTV story:

“In documents headlined ‘Background for discussion with chair of Atomic Energy Canada,’ the government lists funding for the Crown corporation at $351 million for 2009-2010.

That figure was in the January budget.

“However, it also lists $72 million to ‘maintain the option of isotope production.’ The public 2009 budget does not specifically mention funding for isotopes.

“The documents also include a hand-written note that lists total funding for Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd. since 2006 at $1.7 billion, and then a talking-point memo to characterize the spending as ‘cleaning up a Liberal mess.’”

AECL's Candu division, which manufactures and develops nuclear reactors, was put up for sale just recently. The Crown corporation is also facing issues keeping its reactor at Chalk River on line.

This isn't the first time that a federal Cabinet minister or their staff was negligent with sensitive documents. Former foreign affairs minister Maxime Bernier was involved in a high-profile scandal surrounding NATO dossiers he left behind at his then-girlfriend's house. Bernier ended up resigning from his Cabinet position.


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