#104 – Canadian Storytime, Part Four: Mount Polley

English Canada has forgotten about fuckery that happened even in 2014.

One of the more pervasive and pernicious problems of the primary resource extraction industry is the need to handle pollutants. In the case of mining, this often takes the form of what is euphemistically referred to as a “tailings pond” and what is in fact a lake full of horrible deathly chemicals being stored in the open air because fuck you if you don’t like it you hate Canada. The effects of these hell-lakes on wildlife is astonishing for how brutal and heartrending it can be – imagine the death sequences in the Last of Us, but for fish and birds.

But that’s not what Canadian Storytime is about, now is it? Let’s go back a step – Canadian companies are asked to hold their horrific cancer-slurry in a death-pond. The problem with this is containment. It’s not too far a step to go from nasty cancer water inside the pond to nasty cancer water outside of the pond. To make matters worse, putting the same water into a place that it once left is practically impossible, meaning that it is absolutely imperative that this stuff stay inside the tailings pond. Water in this case is extra un-Canadian because it flows *gasp* into the United States. So what happens when Canadian businesses design and create a dam to prevent this from happening?

The cleanest deep-water lake in the world, a place called Quesnel Lake, happened to be next to the tailings pond. This dam was built with failing sensors and on a crumbling foundation. The government of British Columbia didn’t bother with inspections that year, headed by a party which happened to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the company behind the failure. Company head and degenerate failure Brian Kynoch said in 2014 that the water in the pond was “almost potable”, which came as news to the salmon fishery, which was partly closed because of the leak. The government of British Columbia won’t show dam inspection reports any more. In fact, British Columbia refused to even call it a disaster until several months later.

So what happens in Canada when a crooked, politically-connected mining company makes a sloppy mistake, causing massive environmental damage that won’t even be fully understood for decades? And what happens to the government run by the potentially-crooked party that mysteriously closes the books, refuses to comment, and cut funding for inspections? Surely Canada demanded someth-oh. It was a Liberal government behind this? And the guy who owns the Calgary Flames contract hockeymans team?

Canadian heroes, ladies and gentlemen! Aren’t you glad those KKKonservatives weren’t around to ruin the environment? Imagine how much worse this could have been if the Liberal Party and the business-hockeymans team owner hadn’t been there to magic-wand the problem away. Of course there’s no information – the only people affected physically are Indians, and who cares about them? They don’t even own a contract hockeymans team!

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