The breach at Mount Polley and more specifically accountability in mining was one of the questions raised at last night’s Chamber of Commerce all-candidates forum in Quesnel last night.
Scott Elliott, the NDP candidate, says it was something that never should happened but now that it has he says the corporation should foot the bill and not the taxpayers.
He also questioned allowing the mine to dump effluent into Quesnel Lake and then test it well below the surface and 100 meters away from where it’s coming out.
That was something Green Party candidate Richard Jaques agreed with…
“Whether you pee in the shallow end or the deep end it is still polluted, it doesn’t matter how it gets there, it’s there. And there should be a way to get it cleaned out. Mount Polley, ultimately, we’re looking at a 40 million dollar clean-up, it hasn’t changed.”
Perhaps surprisingly from a Green Party candidate, Jacques says he is in favour of mining however but he suggests taking the ore away from the watershed and refine it elsewhere.
BC Conservative candidate Tony Goulet says that environmental and fiscal sustainability were equally important and suggested the following…
“I think that thinking long-term, and i said this out when I was in Likely, that maybe a watershed management board with participating from all stakeholders might be something that could be looked at.”
Goulet says that Board should be fully funded and have control over testing.
Liberal candidate Coralee Oakes agreed that accountability was important but cautioned everyone that the investigation into the breach was not over.
Oakes added that since Mount Polley, B.C. now has the strictest environmental standards when it comes to mining anywhere in the world and that they’ve added 40 staff members to the Ministry of Energy and Mines.