B.C. Liberals must release all documents on Mount Polley Mine tailings pond

VICTORIA – The B.C. Liberals must release any and all documents related to the Mount Polley Mine tailings pond and dam, say B.C.’s New Democrats.

“The tailings pond failure at Mount Polley Mine may be the worst industrial accident in B.C. I’ve seen in my lifetime and Premier Clark and the B.C.  Liberal government need to be held accountable for their role in it,” said New Democrat opposition leader John Horgan.

“The B.C. Liberal government need to release all records and reports on the development, monitoring, and enforcement of this tailings pond and dam within the week so the public can have confidence in the investigation and in the government’s ability to prevent such disasters and enforce responsible development in B.C.”

Horgan is visiting the town of Likely, B.C. on Wednesday to meet with people and survey the devastation from the dam failure.

“This is a community that has been devastated, not just the workers employed at the mine site, but in vital industries like ranching and tourism,” said Horgan.  “The impact on salmon could be tragic as well, as up to 10 per cent of the sockeye run on the Fraser spawn in the Quesnel Lake area.”

“I’m here to take a look around and help in any way I can,” said Horgan.

New Democrat opposition spokesperson for energy and mines Norm Macdonald echoed Horgan’s sympathies for the people affected by this disaster and stressed the importance of a balanced approach to economic development.

“To ensure a strong economy, we have to get the balance right,” said Macdonald. “We need to ensure government is responsible and has the enforcement tools to ensure safe and sustainable development of our resources and hold accountable those who we give the right to harvest the resources that belong to all British Columbians.”