KAMLOOPS – It’s been one month since the Mount Polley tailings pond failure and the B.C. Liberals have all but abandoned the region, say B.C.’s New Democrats.
“Premier Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals briefly swooped into Likely several days after the tailings pond failure assuring the town everything was all right, but then disappeared as the bad news rolled in,” said New Democrat leader John Horgan.
“It’s one month later, and the people in these communities are living day to day with news of water advisories, many of them out of work at the mine, and wondering where their government is. They’re looking ahead to fall rains and winter setting in without even knowing what the plan is for the massive cleanup effort.”
Horgan pointed to the growing sediment plume in Quesnel Lake and reports of fish with elevated levels of selenium and arsenic. And now Imperial Metals is estimating the size of the spill is 70-per-cent greater than the government first announced.
A number of prominent experts have also sounded the warning bells on possible effects on the salmon run in the region.
“Communities including First Nations all over the coast and interior are dependent on a run of sockeye that could go right through the affected area,” said Horgan.
“When members of my team visited the region just a week ago, they learned tailings were still pouring out of the dam.”
Horgan added that the spill poses a huge risk to future resource development in the region.
“We need good resource jobs, which are good for B.C. But we need resource development done right,” said Horgan. “The B.C. Liberals can’t be trusted to do that.
“The premier’s fanfare about ‘early good news’ isn’t good enough,” said Horgan. “The B.C. Liberals’ recent neglect of the devastation in the Cariboo shows British Columbians just can’t trust them when it comes to taking responsibility, being transparent, and taking action.”