Re-opening Mount Polley will be good for jobs, must ensure safety of workers and environment

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CASTLEGAR – New Democrat spokesperson on interior economic development Katrine Conroy released the following statement:

“The announcement that Imperial Metals has requested to partly restart the Mount Polley mine is good news for the workers of Likely, B.C. and the Cariboo. We need these family-supporting resource jobs, which are good for B.C. But we need resource development done right.

“It is important that every step is taken to ensure the site is safe for workers and safe for the environment, so a tragedy like the breach of the tailings pond dam never happens again. This includes thorough and respectful consultation with First Nations.

“Unfortunately, we’ve seen that while Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberal government know what to say when it comes to responsibly developing our resource industry, they can’t be trusted to follow through. They deregulated this industry, cutting mine inspections in half, and the result was a devastating 25 million cubic metres of mine waste pouring into Hazeltine Creek and Quesnel Lake. And they still haven’t figured out what caused it.

“Christy Clark has also failed to follow through on her promise to help the people and businesses in Likely who were left struggling after the disaster.

“While the government is considering the application to reopen the mine, it’s important that they release all reports publicly as they are completed, so that the public gets to see the results first hand and can start to rebuild confidence in the industry.”