Statement from New Democrat leader on Mount Polley Mine tailings pond breach

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VICTORIA – New Democrat Leader John Horgan released the following statement following the Mount Polley Mine tailings pond breach:

“This breach has the potential to have a devastating effect on people, livestock and wild animals in the region for many years to come.  My thoughts are with everyone who is working to understand what happened, stop continued damage and begin to remediate as best as possible what can only be described as a disastrous failure of mine infrastructure.

“Responsible resource development needs to be a priority for B.C.  We all know that permitting industrial activity has an environmental impact that needs to be balanced against the economic benefits locally, regionally and provincially.  This incident demonstrates how critical that balance is and what happens when you get it wrong.

“It’s worrying that the B.C. Liberal government took over a day even to comment.  It raises concerns about whether the government has the ability to monitor the safety of these structures or is able to effectively respond to incidents when they happen.

“The coming days will shed more light on what went wrong at this tailings pond. New Democrats will be among those looking for answers.”