Michael Atwood in expressing his opinion raises a few serious questions.
Shut down the Mount Polley mine.
It does not take much of a financial calculation to recognize the unmitigated community disaster this would be.
Hundreds of employees without the means to support their families, hundreds more in the community, some with large personal investment and several employees providing services to the mine, left withering in the wind.
Shutting down the Mount Polley Mine is simply not an option.
Michael also goes on to suggest that Mount Polley could be fined a billion dollars.
This is vigilantism, hang the perceived villain, fair trail, we have no time for that.
Certainly an accident has occurred but before we start stringing the rope over limb, we should first determine the actual cause.
No single individual owns any mining corporation; investors from all over Canada including many pension funds are depending on the operators of this mine to operate profitably.
Shutting down the mine because of an accident is like throwing the man into the coffin because he had a heart attack.
We are all responsible for the failure of the dam. We need to make sure these structures are constructed to the highest possible standards; standing around pointing fingers like a bunch of silly little children will not ensure that structures like this are constructed to safely meet any future unexpected, unforeseen events.
Michael goes on to say he stood up against Prosperity Mine, with, what he claims, is the inevitable pollution of the Fish Creek watershed. The failure of Prosperity Mine had nothing to do with the environment or pollution. The only reason Prosperity Mine was not approved is simply because a greater number yelled and screamed that they did not want the mine in their back yard.
Regarding copper and iron not being good for fish the Taseko and Chilco Lake watersheds are highly mineralized, historically leaching both iron and copper.
Fish on both the Taseko and Chilco Rivers seem to be doing very well on the diet that includes this natural occurring mineralization.
The failure of the dam was an accident. The fact that no lives were lost would hardly rate Michael’s so-called catastrophic event, on any scale of naturally occurring world events.
Whether employed by a mine or receiving a monthly government handout, the source is exactly the same — industry and working taxpayers. That is why we need mining.