By Tara Scurr, Business and Human Rights Campaigner. Follow Tara on Twitter @AIBHRGuatemala.
The Mount Polley copper mine tailings pond spill in August 2014 may have faded from the headlines, but people in BC living near the spill site who rely on the region for food, medicines and livelihoods are still suffering from all they have lost. And, they are concerned that Quesnel Lake and its tributaries may be irreversibly contaminated by toxic tailings from the spill and ongoing mine water discharges.
According to international human rights instruments, such as the UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law, the government must investigate and take action in a timely way against those responsible. MiningWatch Canada has laid private charges against the company and the Province of BC with just that in mind: to make sure there is a timely, impartial and thorough investigation of the harms caused by the spill and reparations to those harmed. Unfortunately, the Crown stayed those charges without hearing all of the evidence in court.
Read more about MIningWatch’s private prosecution and why NGOs like Amnesty support these efforts towards accountability.
Join thousands of Canadians in calling for corporate accountability for the Mount Polley disaster!
Send tweets targeting the Minister of Environment, Catherine McKenna and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Daniel LeBlanc:
.@cathmckenna @Min_LeBlanc: Don’t let those responsible off the hook for the biggest mining spill in Canada http://sumof.us/285323748t?referrer_id=7876857 @Puglaas
.@cathmckenna @Min_LeBlanc: Enforce the Fisheries Act for Canada’s biggest mining spill http://sumof.us/285323748t?referrer_id=7876857 @Puglaas
.@cathmckenna @Min_LeBlanc: Don’t let B.C. & Imperial Metals off the hook over Mt Polley disaster http://sumof.us/285323748t?referrer_id=7876857 @Puglaas
Amnesty International, NGO partners, residents, and First Nations concerned about the lack of accountability for the Mt Polley disaster support the SumofUs petition and call on Canadians to sign it.
Learn more > Read about Amnesty’s work on Mining and Human Rights in BC: Mt Polley disaster