Three years ago, Mount Polley mine dumped 26 billion liters of waste into Hazelton Creek, Polley Lake and Quesnel Lake.
Conventional wisdom has it that a society's future is predicated on the strengths, skills and knowledge of the youth, but if we look at the way young people in this province have been treated by the B.C. Liberals since 2001, our future has a shaky foundation.
Eighty-six per cent of people in B.C. support banning corporate and union donations, with 76 per cent agreeing that the B.C. Liberals are only interested in helping their political donors and big businesses. The majority of us know that people don't just give away hundreds of thousands of dollars without expecting anything in return.
It is still unknown what the long-term effects will be, and numerous local families and businesses have suffered great losses and hardship. Many of us doubt we can be made whole again -- by the mine or the province.
A province known for its breathtaking mountains, lakes, rivers and scenery should be treasured, valued and protected. Unfortunately under the B.C. Liberals everything seems to have a price tag, and the only thing worth protecting is corporations and profits.
Make no mistake, there's a price to pay when B.C. Hydro becomes a political arm of government. The intertwining of self-interests gets complicated, while the interests of ratepayers can take a backseat to political interests.
With Canadians looking ahead to a federal election on October 19, The Northern Miner submitted mining-related questions to the leaders of the four major political parties running across Canada.
Besides destroying a nine-kilometre creek and endangering salmon and the neighbouring community of Likely, the catastrophe damaged the mining industry's reputation. One year later, the Mount Polley mine is operating again, this time with a conditional permit and no long-term plan to deal with excess tailings.
Commercial and sports fishing fill the freezers and wallets of Wrangell residents but, out of mind for many of them, behind the shield of the Coast Mountains, lurks a threat that could annihilate the area's fishing and tourism-based economy.
"It's not just what the breach did environmentally to us; it's what has happened with the bad publicity we got when this went around the world. That also hurt everybody here."