But Catherine Coumans, spokeswoman for the environmental group Mining Watch, said the federal government is making it too easy. She said federal officials are increasingly using the obscure Schedule Two regulations to quietly reclassify lakes and other waters as tailings dumps.(emphasis mine)
“Something that used to be a lake — or a river, in fact, they can use rivers — by being put on this section two of this regulation is no longer a river or a lake," she said. "It's a tailings impoundment area. It's a waste disposal site. It's an industrial waste dump."
Coumans said the procedure amounts to a subsidy to the industry and enables mines to get around the Fisheries Act.
A local environmentalist who attended the Long Harbour meeting, Chad Griffiths, said of Sandy Pond: “It's easy enough to consider just one lake as just one lake, as a needed sacrifice, right? But it's not one lake … It's a trend. It's an open season on Canadian water.”
Last fall, a Federal Court judge ruled that federal bureaucrats acted illegally in trying to fast-track the Red Chris copper and gold mine without a full and public environmental review.
The decision put the project on hold, but late last week, the Federal Appeals Court reversed the decision, paving the way for federal officials to declare lakes to be dumps without public consultation.
“We want it stopped,” said Dennis, who lives in the native village of Iskut, 18 kilometres northwest of the mine site. “We want to stop the mine … The animals will be drinking that water and they'll all be polluted too.
"Once they do the mine, they’re going to leave, and we're the people who are going to live with that. Not me, but my grandchildren, the small little kids like this. That's who's going to live with the pollution.”
Of course the Fisheries Minister doesn't care, in fact he thinks it's more responsible.
From the Opposition:
"The reality is these Conservatives are giving those mining companies a huge subsidy by allowing them to use freshwater aquatic systems that are fish-bearing lakes as chief waste disposal sites," Nova Scotia MP Peter Stoffer said in the house on Tuesday.
"What they should be doing is having independent linings and holes filled with water, and put the tailings in those things, free and clear of any natural water system."
I wrote an angry letter, so there's something you can do too.
Also, there's another Work Less Party PARTY on the 28th. They're always a blast and why not financially support the best political party in BC while having a bit of fun? It is an election year and Sam Sullivan's not running again! Though I need to find out more about the new guy. Whoever he is I don't like the party so I doubt I'll like him either.