Rebuilding together

It has been just over a week since the incident at the Mount Polley Mine site.

It has been just over a week since the incident at the Mount Polley Mine site. Having visited the site and the town of Likely over the past week, all I can say is the strength and the bond of the people in Likely is incredible.

Last Thursday, Premier Christy Clark, Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett, Environment Minister Mary Polak, myself and fellow Cariboo MLA Donna Barnett had the honour of attending a healing ceremony with the Esk’etemc First Nation. This was a very important first step of a long process of healing and rebuilding as a community.

While in the face of challenges and setbacks, our determination will help us overcome this obstacle. There are so many people at the site and in the town of Likely who are working hard and so far have been making significant progress.

Tug boats have been cleaning up any remaining debris on Quesnel Lake to ensure homes, docks and the beautiful wooden bridge to Likely remain safe and intact.

Water samples are being taken regularly from various locations to ensure that water quality is at acceptable levels for humans and aquatic life. The good news is that samples taken so far have come back to be very close to historical levels prior to the tailings breach and meet both provincial and federal guidelines.

All tourism operations on Quesnel Lake and throughout the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast are open and operational ready to welcome guests. In addition, the Cariboo will also be highlighted at the GoMedia Marketplace, one of the largest travel media conferences in Canada taking place next week in Winnipeg.

Our office is providing updates to the public as we receive them and posting information on our Facebook page at

We also have e-mail updates available and if you would like to receive those please e-mail

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