Column: Mount Polley on track for restart

Mining is a vital industry in our province that creates jobs and supports services like health and education that we all rely on.

Mining is a vital industry in our province that creates jobs and supports services like health and education that we all rely on. Mining also strengthens our communities — noticeably influencing the day-to-day lives of the people in our regions.

This is why having the Mount Polley Mine reopened as soon as possible for those who depend on those direct and indirect jobs is so important; however, we must ensure it is done in a way that protects the environment.

Last week, there was a discussion regarding the proposed restart of the Mount Polley Mine.

As part of a 30-day Public Comment Period related to the restart applications, the turnout and level of support in the room was encouraging for many.

During the meeting that took place at the Gibraltar Room, there was a presentation from the Mount Polley Mining Corporation where representatives of the regional, provincial and federal governments were invited to attend.

There were many in the community that had questions and concerns; however, overall, the approximately 300 people who attended the Mount Polley Mine community meeting in Williams Lake echoed that they believe the mine should restart.

Once the review process is completed, independent statutory decision makers will decide whether to issue the required permits and authorizations. A decision on the permit applications is expected to come in early June.

To stay updated and informed on the water monitoring results and updates on remediation work, visit the Mount Polley Updates page of the Imperial Metals Website at www.imperialmetals.com.

I encourage those to e-mail any concerns about the restart and water discharge plans by the May 2, deadline to MtPolleyMinePermit@gov.bc.ca or inquiries@imperialmetals.com.

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

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