The Mount Polley mine tailings dam collapsed, releasing 25 million cubic metres of contaminated mining waste. The massive spill destroyed or affected over 2.6 million square meters of aquatic and riparian habitats over a 10-km distance. Imperial Metals did not even pay the full cost of the clean-up. British Columbians and Canadians picked up a huge part of the tab. This sets the wrong standards and sends the wrong signal to industry and other mines across Canada.
It further undermines public confidence in the mining sector and erodes people’s trust in the ability of our regulatory system to effectively protect the environment. Ugo Lapointe, Canada Program Coordinator for MiningWatch Canada. New government should undertake a complete review and ensure all of the recommendations of the 2015 Mount Polley review and the 2016 BC Auditor General reports are fully implemented.