The Canadian government is minimizing one of the largest mining spills ever in our country's history. In early August, 4.5 million cubic meters of slurry spilled from the Mount Polley gold and copper mine into virtually untouched forest, lakes and rivers in British Columbia. Tests show the slurry contains arsenic, and mercury.
In response to this large scale of contamination, the Minister of Mines, Bill Bennett, is claiming this is not an environmental disaster and is comparing the spill to a natural event such as an avalanche.
But this mining spill was not an act of nature, and risks were known years ago. Environmental assessments since 2011 identified risks and called for emergency cleanup plans that were never created.
Canada's mining industry has a long history of failing to clean up its own messes. The public paid $69 million for cleanup of pollution from B.C.'s Britannia Mine, and almost $400 million to clean up the Giant Mine in the Northwest Territories. It's time for the government to stop letting mining companies get away with polluting our environment and leaving the taxpayers to pay for the cleanup.
Now, the same company responsible for this enormous spill is constructing a new mine.
Sign the petition to demand the government force Imperial Metals and other mining companies to prepare emergency response plans and fund all cleanup costs.