Letters to the Editor

Little oversight on mining operations

Open letter to Scott Hamliton, Liberal MLA for Delta-North:

I am, as one of your constituents, very upset by what has occurred with the breach of the mining tailings pond in the Interior.

I am totally puzzled why your government has chosen in the last few years (2011-14) to not issue compliance orders and/or significant (meaningful) fines or penalties to any mining operation not responding fully (i.e. with appropriate and scientifically provable corrective steps) to multiple “warnings” issued by the government.

Also, is there some reason why the “token” fines your government has in place (of a few tens of thousands of dollars) have not been raised to a few million dollars?

Several tens of thousands of dollars in fines is “chicken feed” to the mining companies. Essentially, at such low fine levels they are at best a minor annoyance – “the cost of doing business in B.C.” – in essence a licence fee (to be paid after the fact) allowing any given company to pollute with virtual impunity.

Further, is there some reason why your government has not legislated compensation funds to be established (all mining companies, including their parent, subordinate or affiliate companies to annually pay into) so that if any mining company wants to exercise its “get out of jail free card” (declare bankruptcy) that innocent third parties can be adequately and justifiably compensated, without draining the public purse?


Bruce Holvick, North Delta

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