Mount Polley mine breach a true disaster

Tom Fletcher downplaying the true scale of the Mount Polley breach.

Dear editor,

Tom Fletcher, legislative reporter and mouthpiece for the Black Press, does his best to persuade us the Mount Polley mine breach of millions of tons of toxic mine tailings into once beautiful Quesnel Lake and erstwhile lovely Klementine Creek does not represent the worst mining disaster in the history of B.C. He would have us believe this monstrous outpouring of mining waste is essentially waste rock and sand, citing only that tests confirmed “elevated iron and copper levels”. And he proceeds to mock independent researchers seeking the truth.

Yet all that MOE has done to date is one test with a wooden stick into the strange blue film showing up on Quesnel Lake, to then announce it is not oily, and does not “gas off,” and therefore is of organic (wood and crushed leafage) origin — failing to allow that gas-off could have already occurred, and it did only this one feeble test, saying it was “too dangerous for MOE staff to enter the region”.

It is clear that government cover-up and denial of harm is alive and well across all spectrums of invasive corporate extraction and production industries. Today in Canada, truth is the villain to be removed, and until we fix this, our viable future will continue to be destroyed.

What Quesnel Lake and its suffering communities and the Fraser River and our wild salmon are really dealing with is horrific. According to the Canadian Environmental Protection Agency’s own file, the toxic wastes going into the Mount Polley mine tailings pond over just the last five years include: 472,000 kg of arsenic, 278,000 kg of lead, 2,250 tonnes of zinc, 7,070 tonnes of vanadium, 8,600 kg of cadmium, 653 tonnes of cobalt, 50,000 tonnes of phosphorous, 48.5 tonnes of antimony, 24,000 tonnes of manganese, 2,645 kg of mercury, 24,000 kg of selenium, 311 tonnes of nickel, and 39,000 tonnes of copper — extremely toxic to fish. The way the Province and Black Press are looking the other way confirms we have the most destructive and backward governance in Canada of all time, and the sooner we vote out the perpetrators of this behaviour the better. In the meantime we must call on Premier Christy Clark to shape up or step down. Our self-renewing blessings of worth and beauty must be protected for the good of the world and our children.

 

 

Mary Russell

Port Hardy