The B.C. First Nations Energy and Mining Council released a report June 3 saying mining companies should put dollars toward an emergency fund that would cover the damages caused by disasters like the catastrophic failure of the Mount Polley tailings pond in summer of 2014. The report says that more than 230 communities, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, live nearby the threat of mining operations, with 35 tailings ponds at 26 mines in 48 watersheds, which could impact 8,700 kilometres of fish-bearing waters, said the report. Chief Executive Officer Dave Porter, said the report calls for improvements to emergency measures, including funding a response team.
“Any mining company that operates in B.C. should be required to post funding contributions to the establishment of a super fund,” he said, adding it should be more than $200 million.