Ensure mining companies pay to clean up the environmental damage they cause.
The B.C. government’s interim reclamation security policy is a step in the right direction to ensure that taxpayers are not left with the bill for cleaning up after mines – a liability that was last reported at $1.1 billion. But it still needs to be strengthened. It also needs to include a fund to cover unexpected disasters or when companies go bankrupt.
The catastrophic collapse of the Mount Polley tailings dam cost taxpayers $40 million to clean up, to the extent it was even possible to do so. With increased extreme weather from climate change and our province’s proneness to earthquakes, we can’t leave the public on the hook for cleaning up any more disasters.