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Water Solidarity Actions: Remember Mount Polley (August 4, 2017)

Join us to remember Quesnel Lake, raise awareness about the Mount Polley Mine disaster and the lack of justice & celebrate and protect your own watersheds & values for clean water!

On August 4th, 2014, the tailings dam burst at Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley Mine in central British Columbia, Canada, releasing a catastrophic 26 billion liters of mine waste into Polley Lake, Hazeltine Creek, and Quesnel Lake – headwaters and spawning grounds of the Fraser River watershed. More background can be found here.

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. In fact, the Mount Polley Mine has returned to full-scale operations. It 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.

 

polley-smMount Polley Mine pollution is a major concern for several reasons:

  • Quesnel Lake is still a source of drinking water and is 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—we must speak out against impunity.
  • Experts predict 2 major mining disasters every 10 years—where will it be next?

 

What you can do:

  1. Go to your local stream, river, or lake and say a few words to acknowledge Quesnel Lake and your own watershed.
  2. Take a photo & post on social media (include where you are & the water body).
  3. Suggested hashtags:  #SisterStreams #MtPolley  + your own tags/words.

 

How you can go a step beyond:

  1. Get friends and community to raise awareness, host a gathering, or go with friends (picnic, water ceremony, prayer, other) to document & post.
  2. Share with your networks!
  3. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper raising these issues & naming Mount Polley Mine.


We plan to share the action
 at the National Mine Ministers meeting in Fredericton NB in mid-August. Please email your action photos to: waterdefenders@amnesty.ca – Thank you!

For additional questions, please contact Jacinda Mack at: jacinda.mack@gmail.com

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, Clayoquot Action, Watershed Watch and other groups

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