Column: A welcome restart

I am pleased to write this column and have the opportunity to acknowledge the resilience, strength and patience of those in the Cariboo.

I am pleased to write this column and have the opportunity to acknowledge the resilience, strength and patience of those in the Cariboo.

Recently, we each received sound news, that the Ministry of Environment has conditionally authorized the Mount Polley Mine Corporation to begin restricted operations, the first of three significant steps the company needs to continue operation. The Mount Polley Mine Corporation estimates it will take about 30 days before it can begin production and the company expected to provide jobs for up to 220 workers.

The combined sound scientific evidence from ministry experts along with the extensive First Nations and public consultation that took place has provided the confidence the permit could be issued without harming the environment.

In the early fall, the company will need a second conditional permit to treat and discharge water in order  for any operations to continue and submit a long-term water treatment and discharge plan to government by June 30, 2016. This decision is welcome news for the communities of Likely, Williams Lake, Horsefly and the families across the Cariboo that depend on the company’s expected 220 jobs that mine will provide.

It is not only positive news for those at the mine, but also a great moment for our communities and the families that depend on the jobs the mine provides. Although over the past year we’ve faced many challenges and even shed some tears, we all came through it together, anticipating that this day would come and the mine would reopen. We still have a ways to go to get the mine fully re-opened and I understand Imperial Metals is working very hard to make this happen. Our government is also working very hard to ensure that when re-restart operations commence, protection of the environment will be ensured.

I will continue to tour Cariboo North and meet with constituents in my mobile office and as always, please feel free to book meetings through my office at 250.991.0296 or via email at coralee.oakes.mla@leg.bc.ca.

Coralee Oakes is the MLA for Cariboo North and is the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is an independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s 1st vaccine-induced blood clot case detected in Interior Health

Interior Health also recorded 52 new cases of COVID-19

Williams Lake RCMP are asking the public for assistance locating Marion Louise Billy. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake RCMP seek woman wanted for theft, weapon possession

RCMP released the information Thursday, May 6

Audrey McKinnon was officially named the NDP nominee for the federal riding of Cariboo-Prince George. (Twitter)
Audrey McKinnon confirmed as Cariboo Prince-George federal NDP nominee

The nomination comes during speculation the federal government

Gibraltar Mine general manager and community sports coach Ben Pierce moved to Williams Lake in 2008 for a career, and has fallen in love with the area while raising his family in the Cariboo. (Photo submitted)
OUR HOMETOWN: Mine manager on solid ground

Juggling academics, sports and a family was a challenge, but Pierce said he and Liselle made it work

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Most Read