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August 7th, 2019

Liberals “All Talk and no Action” After Charges Deadline in Mount Polley Disaster Passes: NDP

Vancouver – After a deadline of five years to bring forward Fisheries Act charges against the Mount Polley Mining Corporation or parent company Imperial Metals for the disastrous 2014 Mount Polley mine tailings spill passed on Sunday, New Democrats are calling for answers. The Liberal government must be accountable to Canadians for the biggest environmental disaster in Canadian history.

“It’s incredible that we’ve gone five years, with charges under the Fisheries Act recommended months ago, with no action from the Liberal government,” said Gord Johns (Courtenay—Alberni), the NDP’s Fisheries, Oceans and Coast Guard Critic. “If this government can’t bring charges and accountability for the largest environmental disaster in this country’s history, how can anyone think they’re taking protecting our fisheries and our environment seriously?”

NDP MP Fin Donnelly added that while he was disappointed by the government’s silence around the deadline, he was not surprised.

“Time after time with this government, we’re seeing that their priority is protecting and siding with big business against communities. They’re letting down people who live on and enjoy Quesnel Lake, and Canadians should worry about the precedent being set here. If you’re a big company, this government is saying that there’s no accountability.”

The 2014 disaster was the result of a failure of the tailings dam, which sent 24 million cubic metres of mining waste into Quesnel Lake. The Mount Polley mine closed earlier this year due to low copper prices. The community is still facing serious uncertainty about cleanup plans that are slated to continue to 2022.