For immediate release
September 14, 2021
VICTORIA, B.C. – B.C. Green Party leader, Sonia Furstenau, MLA for Cowichan Valley has issued the following statement in response to the Auditor General’s release of a new report: Oversight of Dam Safety in British Columbia.
“Yet again, we have an Auditor General’s report that emphasizes the provincial government’s failure to oversee and regulate industrial activity in B.C. This is another example of the BC NDP lacking the political will to prioritize the health and safety of people, properties, and the environment.
“The alarming conclusions of this report state that B.C. has failed at compliance, enforcement, and oversight. Despite a history of structural and operational dam failures, government continues to be careless with 1,900 dams across the province. For more than half of these dams, failure could be fatal.
“The people of B.C. rely on their governments to protect the public safety and the public interest. The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is failing to do so. I am especially concerned that this report did not consider the safety of dams under construction, dams related to mining, or dams owned by oil and gas permit holders. That means that the safety of mega projects such as Site C, or dams similar to Mt. Polley was not assessed.
“It is clear that we need an urgent culture change and overhaul of this ministry. More resources need to be devoted to ensuring the safety of dam infrastructure across the province. The provincial government should also be recognizing the role of First Nations in land use planning, and working with them to chart a path forward that focuses on Indigenous-led restoration.”
B.C. Green Caucus
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