On August 4th 2014, the tailings dam burst at Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley Mine in central British Columbia, releasing a catastrophic 24 million cubic metres of mine waste into Polley Lake, Hazeltine Creek, and Quesnel Lake – headwaters and spawning grounds of the Fraser River watershed.
As of July 1st 2017, no charges or fines have been issued, despite most of the waste still lying at the bottom of fish-bearing lakes. The Mount Polley Mine has returned to full-scale operations and is now permanently discharging more wastewater into Quesnel Lake, and relying on the lake to dilute the waste in order to meet BC water quality limits.
Mount Polley Mine pollution is a major concern for several reasons:
- Quesnel Lake is still a source of drinking water and being polluted every day
- Quesnel Lake is a salmon nursery for 25% of declining Fraser River salmon
- Mount Polley Mine is setting a worldwide precedent for Canadian mining companies to get away with disasters
- Experts predict 2 major mining disasters every 10 years
We need your help! Join us to remember Quesnel Lake, raise awareness about the Mount Polley Mine disaster and lack of justice, and celebrate and protect your own watersheds. Here’s how:
1. TAKE ACTION NOW
Sign and share our action calling for a public inquiry into British Columbia’s mining regulations.
2. JOIN OUR THUNDERCLAP
Add your voice to hundreds of others calling for justice for the victims of the Mount Polley Mine disaster. Sign up for our Thunderclap to post a one-time message to your social media accounts on August 4th.
3. TAKE PART IN OUR PHOTO ACTION
Join us in raising awareness about the Mount Polley Mine disaster and acknowledging Quesnel Lake through our solidarity photo action.
In solidarity with Quesnel Lake from the Rideau River in Ottawa 3 years after the #mtpolley disaster #ppl4water #sisterstreams pic.twitter.com/dMsMybiA6y
— Amnesty Ontario (@AmnestyOntario) July 21, 2017
- Go to your local stream, river, or lake and say a few words of acknowledgement for Quesnel Lake and your own watershed
- Take a photo and post it on social media, including the name of your town and the body of water.
- Use the hashtags #ppl4water #sisterstreams and #mtpolley as well as your own solidarity message.
- Email your photo to email@example.com. We will share them with the National Mine Ministers meeting in Frederiction, NB in mid-August.
- Share this action with your networks and encourage participation.
Action Contact: Jacinda Mack, FNWARM Coordinator/ Xat’sull First Nation member
E: firstname.lastname@example.org /www.fnwarm.com / @FNWARM
Supported by: Amnesty International, Concerned Citizens of Quesnel Lake, First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining, Northern Confluence, United for Mining Justice, Salmon Beyond Borders, Rivershed Society of BC
3. WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper raising these issues and naming the Mount Polley Mine disaster.
4. LEARN MORE
Learn more about Amnesty Interational’s work on mining and human rights in British Columbia.