Jets guard Ontario’s nuclear sites, minister says

Martin Mittelstaedt
Globe and Mail
October 16, 2001

The CF-18 fighter planes that have recently been stationed at the Trenton, Ont., air-force base are there in part to help protect Ontario’s nuclear stations from air attacks, according to environmental and municipal sources.

John Mutton, mayor of Clarington, a suburban community at the eastern end of the Greater Toronto Area, said Defence Minister Art Eggleton has contacted him, indicating that the fighter planes would be available to protect atomic plants.

Mr. Mutton wrote to Mr. Eggleton last month, expressing concern about the security of the Darlington nuclear plant located in his municipality.

“I’m a hell of a lot happier that [the aircraft] are there,” Mr. Mutton said yesterday in a telephone interview.

Mr. Eggleton outlined the increased security in a reply to Mr. Mutton.

“For operational security reasons, the location and readiness posture of CF-18 aircraft are classified.

However, I assure you that these aircraft are capable of quickly responding to an airborne threat to the Darlington nuclear plant,” Mr. Eggleton wrote.

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