“It’s shameful that Christy Clark and her government went behind closed doors to make major changes to how contaminated sites and hazardous substances are regulated,” said George Heyman, New Democrat environment spokesperson. “With her government’s failures like pollution at the Hullcar Aquifer and the Mount Polley tailings dam spill, it’s no wonder she snuck in this regulation change quietly to avoid the controversy and pushback that she would hear.”
There was no consultation, no public comment or review, no legislature to question these changes, not even a press release highlighting the changes. Instead, the government offered a webinar – after the fact – outlining the changes that the B.C. Liberals had already made.
“What’s even more alarming than the secrecy behind this is that the new regulations are so bad that children in high density city areas won’t be allowed to access certain parks due to being at risk of the higher level of contamination,” said Heyman. “This kind of pollution is not taking a step forward for our environment and the future of our province, it’s taking a step backwards and can only get worse. Where dumping was previously regulated and soil remediation by industry was required, industry will now be relieved of these requirements and will save millions of dollars.”
Experts say that the new regulation changes allow contamination to exceed 100-1,000 times higher than previous standards.
“Christy Clark and her government will sacrifice our environment and pollute our soils to make their friends happy, and that just isn’t right,” said Heyman. “By doing this, she is risking our environment, our water quality and the health and safety of British Columbians.
“New Democrats are demanding answers from Christy Clark, because British Columbians deserve better.”