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B.C. needs to act quickly to prevent future mine-tailings disasters

Loretta Williams, chairwoman of First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining and Calvin Sandborn, QC, legal director of the Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria call on Premier John Horgan to act now to protect the workers and communities below tailings dams.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press.

About five years ago, both B.C. and Brazil got dramatic warnings of the danger that tailings dams pose. In 2014, the Mount Polley mine dam collapsed, creating one of Canada’s most epic environmental disasters. Only 15 months later, a tailings dam in Mariana, Brazil, collapsed, wiping out a neighbourhood, killing 19 and poisoning a vast watershed. Fish literally leaped out of the river to flap on the banks, trying to escape lethal effluent.

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