Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Mr. Holman Speaks On Mount Polley (And More).


Sean Holman, the former proprietor of the much missed Public Eye Online who is now an academic in Calgary, has an excellent piece up on the differences in government transparency regarding mines and mine accidents 'n stuff between the United States and British Columbia.

It's a good piece and well worth reading in its entirety.

Here's the kicker (in which no one is spared):

...There is absolutely no reason why British Columbians shouldn’t be similarly informed about our own mines — except for our willingness to elect governments on both the left and right that exploit our political complacency and infantilism.

After all, how many citizens do you think will put information rights as their top issue the next time they go to the polls? And how many even care about those rights between elections?

But without such information it’s impossible for British Columbians to know how safe our mines are — and whether officials are doing enough to keep those operations safe.

Journalists and activists just don’t know what we don’t know.

Instead, we have to trust that our Father Knows Best government will take care of its citizen-children at the expense of the powerful who are its friends and financiers.

And that’s exactly the way most politicians, once they get into power, seem to like it.



I think that's a pretty good descriptor of what goes on 'round here.



Anonymous said...

Question authority
Ben Franklin/Socrates
Or keep me in the dark.
Who gets to decide what gets blacked out in Victoria.
Why do we pay for access? Pay to play- we are the employer not politicians- they are there by electoral proxy- nothing else.
And they call it democracy.

Anonymous said...

Aren't the mine barons, just as greedy as Harper's oil and gas barons? Deregulating safety standards, environment standards and permitting the resource barons to operate, with acute shortages of staff. Hiring foreigners, that are not even ticketed nor certified.

Did we not see Christy Clark's photo-op at Mount Polley mine? She jumped up on a rock, threw her arms into the air and literally said? Don't worry, be happy and then she bu&&ered off.

There was a recall petition out against Christy Clark regarding, the Mount Polley catastrophic dam burst. Christy, Harper and Imperial Metals, wear this one.

Christy Clark only has a High School education. I believe Christy, is merely a mouthpiece.

motorcycleguy said...

I have experienced the same frustration trying to confirm just who is responsible for all of the dams used by IPP's. Not only can I not get data on dam safety inspections for those presently in use (like the alpine lake draining project on the Sunshine Coast).....I cannot get assurances of proper inspections of those projects just approved (and about to drain more alpine lakes on the Sunshine Coast). These projects have penstocks that have 800+ metres of head in order to drive the turbines. This relates to 1000+ psi pressure....yet no record of sign off by qualified welders (temporary foreign ones or otherwise) has been seen by Minister of Environment, Minister of FLNRO (avalanche Bill Bennett), or even the BC Safety Authority. Paying for an FOI won't get this info. It doesn't exist....except in the files of the IPP owner....maybe. The EAO assured everyone proper dam safety protocol would be followed. Gotta tell ya I ain't got confidence in that. The California Energy Commission gave me more info on projects and policies in one phone call than I got from years of EAO proceedings in BC.....and it was free to boot. Sean Holman is absolutely correct. This wouldn't happen in the USA, people there don't fall for "Father Knows Best". A complacent MSM is not helping.

motorcycleguy said...

missed a keystroke or two...should read "and" the Minister of Energy and Mines (avalanche Bill Bennett)

Anonymous said...

Took this from the CBC News story -

"One resident with a three-year-old and a six-year-old said she drew their drinking water at the cottage from Quesnel Lake and said the potentially toxic slurry should be removed from the watershed altogether.

Test results last week showed levels of copper, iron, manganese, arsenic, silver, selenium and vanadium in excess of provincial standards near the spill site but the ministry said similar testing last spring also found concentrations above guidelines."

The ministry said there were above average concentrations found last spring... hmm. Did they wonder where these concentrations were coming from? And did they warn the residents about these findings in the spring?

Crazy place this BC....

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I suppose we should be thankful we don't live in Mexico...

A Mexican copper mine which spewed millions of gallons of acid into a river last month is still causing pollution and the facility's owners are blocking the work of investigators probing the accident, authorities said.

The massive acid leak in August, involving some 40,000 cubic meters (10.6 million gallons) of sulfuric acid, was one of Mexico's largest ever mining-related environmental disasters.

"As of this moment, the government of Sonora (state) totally breaks off any relationship with the mining company," which is continuing to discharge toxic substances in the river, director of the state civil protection agency, Carlos Arias said at a press conference Friday.

Arias said since the spill, Buenavista, a subsidiary of Grupo Mexico, has blocked access to investigators, and he warned Sonora state authorities would come back -- this time backed up by security forces.