From Al Smith – @literateowl
Begin forwarded message:
From: Al Smith <twoloons>
Date: August 19, 2014 at 7:34:02 AM PDT
To: WordPress OK flyfisher <muji051deqe>
Subject: Why Bill Bennett Needs to Resign | The Tyee
The story of the Mount Polley is a sad series of cautionary tales.
Not long after the BC Liberal government came to power in 2001 they went on a binge of making things more comfortable for the corporations that put them there. This meant serious cutbacks which in turn meant lack of inspections and lack of pressure on companies to upgrade their facilities. Government safety regulations were “red tape” and the buzz word was “deregulation.” The pressures from the government’s paymasters, the large corporations, to “cut the crap” were enormous and constant.
Those who have been reading the pages of The Tyee — and may I also mention those of the Common Sense Canadian which I helped found — will know that inspections of mines dippedto appallingly low levels in the decade after the BC Liberals took over. Far from being hindsight, the whole sordid mess is well documented. It’s not just the number of inspections that apparently increased risk of disaster, it’s what did or didn’t happen when problems were discovered on site.
It would seem that at least five recent inspection results resulted in five warnings to Imperial Metals, all of which were ignored.
This has all been played down by mines minister Bennett as he’s been babbling forth since the disaster. Indeed he tells us that mine inspections have been restored to 2009 levels which is disingenuous in the extreme since the current levels are only half what they were when Bennett’s party took power in 2001, and they had dipped so much lower than even that at points in the decade that surely a large backlog of needed inspections now exists. Besides, in 2009 inspectors became more educators and public relations officers than actual on-site inspectors of the dam.
In short, when I read the evidence I was of the opinion that not only was the dam quite possibly not properly inspected, but even when it was inspected, the company didn’t follow up on the inspectors’ recommendations. News accounts carry quotes from engineers and people who worked at the dam telling appalling stories of neglect both on the part of the mining ministry and Imperial Metals. It’s a disgrace.(Mair Tyee)