Mount Polley's Catastrophic Mine Tailings Spill Could Have Been Averted: Whistleblower

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Mount Polley Whistleblower Lost Job, Then Home
by Damien Gillis - The Canadian
Larry Chambers warned Imperial Metals that its tailings pond was bound to fail – and he was fired for it, the Likely, BC resident told media in Vancouver earlier today.


 
 
He and his wife, Lawna Bourassa-Keuster, have now lost their home on once-beautiful Quensnel Lake – too afraid to drink the cloudy and discoloured water, which they brought with them to Vancouver in a jar.


Christy Clark did come to Likely and at that time, she informed us that she would make sure that Quesnel Lake would be brought back to its pristine state,” said Bourassa-Keuster.
 
We haven’t seen or heard from her since.
We, like most of the residents, live in Likely for its beauty and peacefulness. This is heartbreaking to see.”Cloudy water from Quesnel Lake (photo: Damien Gillis)

The couple didn’t pull any punches when discussing the company’s attitude toward safety during a press conference hosted by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and featuring a Secwepemc First Nation representative as well. After complaining in writing to the Ministry of Energy and Mines about safety conditions at the mine, Chambers says he received a phone call “saying my services were no longer needed there.”

Chambers described instances of being bullied by supervisors at the mine for insisting on safety standards that were not being properly implemented.

It was an ongoing concern about the size of tailing pond and half the employees there knew there was a problem. This just shows you, as soon as you say something, you’re out of there.


Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.

More articles by Damien Gillis
 

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