Mount Polley Mine situation evidence of a government more concerned about profits than its people

Dear editor,

During my dip into one of our local beautiful rivers, I thought of the shocked, dismayed people who live in the Cariboo region along other rivers, once also sparkling clean and rich with life,  the Horsefly, Quesnel, Mitchell Rivers; all waterways directly affected by the Polley Lake tailings pond disaster; 10 million cubic feet of water contaminated with a mix of toxic metals, arsenic, mercury, copper, cadmium and lead has swept into the creeks and rivers emptying into the Fraser and, I assume, the Pacific.

What went wrong? Where are the regulators, the monitors, the enforcers,  our watchdogs, our scientists? I assume there are not enough trained scientists left in the Ministry of Environment to oversee resource extraction projects. Instead, we have now a political system that sees independent science as getting in the way of progress and development. How can we trust a government that gives industry the right to self-regulation? Profit is industry’s defining motive. A government’s priority needs to be the welfare of its people, and the economic and environmental stewardship of our land for future generations.

This latest disaster shows the utter lack of interest and responsibility of the Liberal provincial government to take care of  the people and the environment of B.C.

This must change.

Sally Gellard



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