A program coordinator from a nonprofit pan-Canadian initiative
Ramsey Hart, with MiningWatch Canada, has been communicating and sharing his context on data of the tailings pond breach with community members of Likely.
Hart says BC is long overdue for a comprehensive look at its mining regulations.
“That goes from how the industry and the government engage with indigenous communities, it goes to oversight and enforcement, it goes to reporting and public disclosures.”
Hart says the BC provincial government shares in the responsibility of the breach occurring.
“I think a lot of it also comes down to a culture of promoting compliance with industry rather than really forcing compliance and enforcement.”
Hart says the provincial government writes strongly worded letters over hard action to companies when problems arise.
Hart also says that test results that are almost a month old from the Ministry of Environment are worrisome.
“My concern would be that the government is hoping that the close attention to this has died down and people may be paying less attention to these things.”
Hart adds the independent investigation into why the breach occurred needs to look at more than just engineering issues.
“I’ve spoken to a couple of people and the things that have been reported in the media, do indicate to me that Imperial didn’t manage the risks associated with this impalement in a responsible way. I’m skeptical if the same management approach is taken, that we would have something that we could be comfortable calling responsible mining.”
Hart says he will continue to speak to residents of Likely on data of the breach and will be in the area until this evening.