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August 6th, 2014

Conservatives must respond now to Mount Polley tailings pond disaster

New Democrats are urging the Conservative government to respond immediately to the devastating breach of the Mount Polley Mine tailings pond where billions of litres of toxic water and sands have been released into the surrounding lakes and rivers.

“The federal government must immediately offer BC the assistance it needs to help prevent further damage,” said NDP MP Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley). “The federal government has a role to play in ensuring that all possible steps are taken to protect this sensitive salmon habitat and drinking water that nearby communities rely on.”

Federal and provincial governments share responsibility for mining tailings ponds, and tailings ponds are normally reviewed as part of environmental assessments for proposed projects.

“We need the federal government to immediately review what happened in this case – and take steps to ensure that this kind of devastating environmental disaster isn’t repeated. This is just another reason that Conservative moves to gut environmental assessments and fish protection are so short-sighted,” added NDP Environment critic Megan Leslie (Halifax).