Watching the devastation of the beautiful pristine environment around Quesnel Lake destroyed, reminds me that only two or three decades ago we drank water directly from the lake while on a camping trip in the area.
Quesnel and Horsefly lakes – God’s country indeed.
But times have changed. Today, global population is stretching Earth’s capacity. We must finally recognize that clean, fresh water is more precious than gold. We need to ask ourselves some hard questions: Can’t we improve tailings ponds security? Isn’t there a more permanently secure way to retain these toxic wastes than by earthen dams? Even the slightest risk that we’ll see arsenic, mercury, cyanide, etc in waters that feed salmon, deer, waterfowl, large predators like bear, and wolves (pity they can’t read the danger notices we put up), as well as, of course, humans, must mean we stop, and change practices.
I wonder if concrete dams and permanent liners couldn’t work better? We retain clean water behind concrete dams, why not the toxic stuff?
Improvements could bring B.C. and Canada to the world forefront in safety research, and practice. Both government and industry must finance this work.
The best ways to encourage safety improvements are monetary. Mining companies must be on the hook to remediate the entire debacle, and if they go bankrupt, then their CEO’s must be personally liable, or go to jail.
On the positive side, those that put in reliable improvements to contain wastes safely, encourage recycling, etc. should get substantial tax breaks.
B.C. is not a Third-World resource dump, and industrial practices must change with the times. Can you imagine this happening in Germany? Can you even imagine this sort of operation being allowed in Europe?
Canada needs to get with the times. The mindless frontier days are over, period!