Peachland’s Dirty Water and Politics…Part 2
It must be a fun game for the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources, Doug Donaldson, riding of Stikine, to kick the shit out of the Peachland watershed. Day in and day out.
Now we’re going to add a new mine into our already MULTI-ABUSED watershed (mining, logging, unstable and abandoned logging roads, cattle grazing, unchecked recreation).
Thank you very much Taryn for writing this LETTER TO THE EDITOR!
As published in the Kelowna Daily Courier, April 22, 2020
Today we received news Vancouver-based Flow Metals Corp., is proposing to prospect in the Peachland watershed. This is a third such mining claim in our watershed. Exploration and development bring with them the potential to unearth and release uranium and other toxic materials into our water supply, no matter how careful the operators claim to be.
Flow Metals follows on the heels of another Vancouver-based company, Troubadour Resource. Its claim is near Glen Lake. Bitterroot Mines, also Vancouver based, has proposed work in the Trepanier watershed, 20 kilometers west of Peachland.
One wonders if Vancouverites would tolerate an open-pit up Grouse Mountain, mining trucks on Lonsdale or tailing ponds leaching into the Capilano?
Time and poor track records have proven Gold Rush-era practices that regulate B.C.’s mining and energy extraction are lacking.
We know better than to fall for the promises of high-paying jobs and community prosperity. Just look at the ghost towns that pepper our countryside.
After less than 19 years, Noranda’s Brenda Mine abandoned Peachland with a four square-kilometre garbage dump, dirty water and a failing tailings pond dam.
Since the dam was a temporary structure, Noranda planned to dump toxic water into the drinking supply of Peachland Creek. If it wasn’t for the outcry of local residents and then-mayor Keith Fielding, mine executives would not have been forced to build a water treatment plant for the mine waste.
When the mine originally lobbied council upon startup, they produced glossy brochures advertising sailboats and recreation activities on the tailing ponds after reclamation — so how is that working out?
The other legacy mining left us is fear of disaster; when our kids first attended Peachland Elementary, they had regular “duck, dive and cover” drills to teach children how to muster for evacuations in case the Brenda tailings dam breeched and took out Beach Avenue. The pond is still there, the threat remains, and the dam is built similar to Mount Polley’s, which collapsed into the Quesnel River.
The Okanagan is threatened if any of these mines follow through to full-scale mining.
People of the Okanagan and our local governments need to have a say over what happens in their jurisdictions, especially when it comes to community watersheds.
Time to write to our elected officials and lobby to change the antiquated ‘strip and ship’ laws that put short-term profits of the few over long-term health and prosperity of the many.
Today is Earth Day, past time for our policy makers to act and understand that to have a sustainable province, mining or forestry sector, there must be sustainable forests and laws to protect both.
Taryn Skalbania, Peachland
Be well. Stay healthy. Thank you very much for reading. Please share 🙂
One of my hobbies is blogging about mortgages, debt and government policy. During the day I’m a MORTGAGE BROKER in Kelowna, BC!
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