8.08.2014

Mt. Polley Tailings Pond Failed Because Corps Serve Shareholders and Govts Don't Serve Citizens

Mount Polley Mine's tailings pond disaster

The failure of Imperial Metals' Mount Polley Mine's tailing pond is the largest failure of a tailing pond in mining history. A tailings pond's job is to allow the heavy metals and other chemicals materials used to extract the more profitable minerals to sink and settle at the bottom. So when the asshole CEO of Imperial Metals says he'll drink the water after the solids settle he's just relying on people's naivete to work its magic. The main problem, the main danger long-term and short is the 'slurry' at the bottom. Personally i'd rather he invite all his capitalist friends and their government enablers over for a 'slurry' BBQ.

The truth is though that the executives at Imperial Metals were doing their job by avoiding every cost they could, by having the lowest liability insurance B.C.'s laws allow. That's capitalism. Every member of every corporate board of directors, CEO etc. is to maximize shareholder profits.  Time and time again the courts have ruled that if a corporations directors or executives choose to, say serve the public good, instead of the shareholder's profits they are in breach of the law. So the assholes running Imperial Metals were just doing their jobs.

The government's job, on the other hand, is to serve the best interests of the citizens - the public good.
over the last couple days article after article has shown that the both the B.C. and Canadian governments have actually done exactly the opposite. Jenny Uechi's article at The Vancouver Observer yesterday titled 'Understaffing, deregulation to blame for Mount Polley tailing pond disaster: critics' lays out the details of the B.C. government's history is this matter. very well: “The government isn't inspecting the mines, and the mining companies know it,” said Glenda Ferris, a longtime advocate for environmentally safe mining in British Columbia who has previously consulted with government and First Nations on mining issues. Ferris said the BC government has relied excessively on the mining industry to self-regulate itself as ministries underwent budget cuts in the 1990s, meaning that the problem could be systemic.

"You know, it's all about money,"  Xat'sull (Soda Creek) First Nation Chief Bev Sellars told the Vancouver Observer. She said the provincial government appeared to have let companies go on many violations and breaches in recent years. "The bottom line is, how much money can the mines make? How much money can they donate to political parties?"

Rafe Mair's piece 'Mount Polley Mine proves Liberal de-regulation doesn’t work' goes a step or two further by explaining the corporate 'truths'. But another unanswered question is what will happen if/when Imperial Metals goes bankrupt, as the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic did after the crude train explosion at Lac M├ęgantic, ultimately leaving taxpayers on the hook.

Remember how the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic paid the first cleanup costs and hung their heads in shame? Meanwhile in the background they were getting their ducks lined up so they would be prepared to file bankruptcy when the rest of the liability bills started to roll in. Right now Imperial Metals is undoubtedly doing the same thing behind the scenes - that's their job. The other mines they own will be being sold off to corporations outside of Canada. Those corporations will then lease back the machinery etc. to Imperial Metals.

Just like the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic, these guys will pay up to the extent of their liability insurance $13million Queen Christy said last night on Global TV. During the time it takes to go through that paltry bit Queen Christy will crow just like Harpo and Marois did about being tough on the villains. Then, oops, Imperial Metals will go bankrupt just like the railway line did and the taxpayers will pay the rest. One investment analyst who wants to remain anonymous said, "I'd watch for some kind of mysterious flipping of ownership of Red Criss Mine in the next few days."