Life has been anything but routine for the BC interior residents of Hazeltine Creek, Polley Lake, and Quesnel Lake. On August 4th, 2014 the Imperial Metals mine tailings dam burst, sending an estimated 25 million cubic metres of extractive process contaminated sludge and heavy metals-laden toxins into the local watershed.
In what was deemed at the time the biggest spill of its kind into the environment of all time, the chemical impacts of the Mt. Polley Mine spill disaster made Imperial Metals, according to the National Pollutant Release Inventory, “the largest emitter of copper, arsenic and manganese in Canadian waters in 2014.”
But, nearly two and half years after the fact, the governments charged with crafting and enforcing laws to protect the people and places of this Canada are yet to lay charges in enforcement of those laws regarding Imperial Metals.
It’s fallen instead to MiningWatch Canada, the “[P]an-Canadian initiative supported by environmental, social justice, Indigenous and labour organisations from across the country” to launch a private prosecution. This past week, the federal government tried to torpedo that launch before it left the dock, moving to stay the case and prevent MiningWatch entering evidence.
Douglas Gook is a Quesnel-based ecology activist who’s focused on Eco forestry alternatives in the woods there and beyond for more than forty years. He leads Forest Protection Allies, one of the many environmental organizations pressuring government to get effective cleanup processes going, and appropriate compensation for those effected by the Mt. Polley Mine disaster put in place. He attended the gallery in the MiningWatch case Friday, and was there when the federal government’s stunning motion to the court was read.
Douglas Gook in the first half.
And; with mere days left before the inauguration of Donald Trump as America’s 45th president, governments around the World are frantically arranging and rearranging ministries and departments in preparation of a new era in their US relations. Canada is no exception, but where most other countries are moving to align themselves more harmoniously with perceived Trump values, Ottawa appears to be taking the novel approach of charting a 180 degree course in the opposite direction. At least, this is how the elevation of the famously Russophobic Chrystia Freeland is being interpreted in some quarters.
John Helmer is a long-time, Moscow-based journalist, author, and essayist; the only one, his site, Dances with Bears informs “to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties.” He’s a former political science professor who’s served as an advisor to the governments of Greece, the U.S., and in Asia where he regularly lectures on Russian topics. His book titles include: ‘Uncovering Russia,’ ‘Urbanman: The Psychology of Urban Survival,’ ‘Bringing the War Home: The American Soldier in Vietnam and After,’ and ‘Drugs and Minority Oppression’ among others.
John’s latest article, ‘Chrystia Freeland is the Body Double – Canada Plays Hillary Clinton Card at Russia; Kremlin Suspects Putsch Against Justin Trudeau‘ examines the meteoric rise to power of Canada’s newest Minister of Foreign Affairs.
John Helmer and Anatomy of a Canadian Coup in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of some of the good things scheduled for the coming week on and beyond the streets of our city. But first, Douglas Gook and the federal government’s attempt to stay the toxic flow of information on the Mt. Polley mining spill disaster.