Secwepemc land defenders mark Mount Polley anniversary

Kanahus Manuel

From: Kanahus Manuel []
Sent: August 4, 2017 6:16 AM
Subject: For immediate release



Secwepemc land defenders mark Mount Polley anniversary; Call on NDP and Greens to keep promises on Mount Polley


(Kamloops, August 4, 2017) On the third anniversary of the Mount Polley environmental disaster, Secwepemc land defenders are demanding that the newly-elected NDP and Green Party government keep their promises to reign in environmental outlaws like Imperial Metals.


“When they were in opposition,” says Secwepemc land defender Kanahus Manuel, “both Premier Horgan and Andrew Weaver strongly criticized the Liberal government for its corrupt environmental assessment system and for allowing Mount Polley to re-open. They must act now to revoke the permits for Mount Polley, shut down the mining operation until the damage is completely repaired, and implement a real environmental assessment system —one that ensures that such environmental disasters never happen again.”


The 2014 Mount Polley spill is the largest environmental disaster in British Columbia's history. It occurred when the mine's tailings pond dam gave way and unleashed 10 million cubic metres of contaminated water and 4.5 million cubic metres of metals-laden silt into Hazeltine Creek, Polley Lake and Quesnel Lake on the way to the Fraser River watershed.


“We remind the new provincial government that the province has absolutely no jurisdiction to issue permits to mining companies operating on our territories without the Secwepemc nation's collective free, prior, and informed consent, ” further states Manuel.


Despite government and industry promises at the time of the spill, very little site remediation has been done to clean up the toxic spill. A report from the BC Auditor General Carol Bellringer found that the "monitoring and inspections of mines were inadequate to ensure mine operators complied with requirements.”


According to Manuel, “If the government does not hold Imperial Metals to account and shut down the disastrous Mount Polley operation, we will take whatever action necessary to defend our lands by our own means. Over the past three years we have taken action and blockaded this mining operation numerous times, and we will do it again. We assume our full authority to protect and steward our lands."


Media contact

Kanahus Manuel: 250-852-9002