This summer as Justin Trudeau took a taxpayer funded luxury vacation in Tofino, the deadline for the Government of Canada to charge Imperial Metals for the 2014 Mount Polley Mine disaster passed. Inaction, despite the Government of Canada’s own Joint Task Force recommending in the spring that the Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley Mine disaster be charged for design failure negligence. Taxpayers will pay an estimated $100 million for the clean up of the 25 billion litres of toxic mining waste released into the Fraser River watershed by Imperial Metals. The disaster occurred within the territory of the Secwepemc First Nation, home to one of the largest salmon spawning grounds in the world.
No charges, fines or penalties means Imperial Metals gains greater potential to expand unsustainable mining operations in B.C. Within Clayoquot Sound, Imperial Metals holds the mining rights to assess the development of a gold mine, called the Fandora project, within the unceded territory of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, as well as an open-pit copper mine on Catface Mountain in Ahousaht First Nation’s unceded territory. Both Nations are adamant that mining will not be allowed in their territories.
Friends of Clayoquot Sound joined 30 B.C. organizations, including the B.C. Union of Indian Chiefs, the Guide Outfitters Association of B.C., and others urging the B.C. Government to reject the plans in the Skagit Headwaters. Opposition to proposed mineral exploratory work in the Manning Park “donut hole” continues to grow while the B.C. Government considers the application from Imperial Metals to probe the area for copper and gold.