Should Imperial Metals be accountable for the Mount Polley tailings impoundment failure?
Almost three years since the disaster, Mining Watch tries to see justice done regarding all mining infractions of law. Justice crawls. Disaster speeds. I am grateful for Mining Watch being here in Williams Lake.
For the public good, Imperial Metals, the Province of B.C., the enforcers of the Fisheries Act, should be held accountable and responsible for this unnatural disaster.
Public Service of Canada prosecutor directed a stay of proceedings. Prosecutor, Alexander Clarkson, received 876 pages of engineering and scientific reports with an additional 27 pages from Mining Watch bringing a significant private prosecution. Mining Watch evidence will not be in public records as I understand the stay.
People from Kamloops came to the proceedings (March 27, 2017). They were concerned because Ajax Mine will build their tailings dam above Peterson Creek if I got it right. A breach would take stored toxic tailings waste through the middle of Kamloops. I imagine alternatives are presently more expensive for Ajax Mine.
Public Service of Canada may develop evidence of responsibility from lower levels, through mid-levels, to the very top of government, politicians, the Minister of Mines and mining corporations so they could be held accountable.
If not, then the group from Kamloops are more than justified to believe the Ajax Mine tailings placement above the City is grossly irresponsible. Prosecution of those responsible for the Mount Polley disaster could make Ajax Mine think twice.
With passage of time, Mining Watch seems justified in bringing private prosecution. Justice delayed is justice denied. We shall see if justice is served for the greater public good.
Mining Watch stands vigilant at the heart of our democratic process.