The Mt. Polley mine disaster has shocked us all.
It is a tragedy for many, not least of which are the returning salmon.
Though many of us have had our suspicions about the nature of the mining industry in B.C. for years, to see the blatant inadequacies of our regulatory regime laid bare in this fashion is truly horrifying.
Now the story is emerging about repeated warnings, inadequate penalties for infractions, and the deliberately created lack of capacity of government to do the job to which we entrust it.
There appears to be an unhealthy crony relationship between or government and the mining industry in this province.
Some say that apportioning blame is a waste of time, that we should get on with the clean up and with helping those affected. And so we should.
But we must also find and eliminate the root causes of this tragedy.
In a healthy democracy this is how we go about making things better and find healing. This means that those responsible must step up and take their medicine. Always, always, this goes to the people at the top.
Mines Minister Bill Bennett has let us down. He has let us down very badly. He is not only demonstrably incompetent, he seeks to avoid responsibility for a ministry that has become ineffective in its regulatory role on his watch. He has only one honourable path before him. He must resign.
I am calling upon him do so immediately.
Friends of the Nemiah Valley