Green Party MLA Sonia Furstenau and Environment Minister George Heyman (Black Press)

Environmental review checks for conflicts

Self-regulating a factor in Mount Polley, Shawnigan Lake

Environment Minister George Heyman has launched his promised review of “professional reliance” on engineers and other professionals who oversee safety of industrial projects in B.C.

Heyman said the issue of water contamination of the Hullcar aquifer near Vernon, a contaminated soil storage facility near Shawnigan Lake and the Mount Polley mine tailings dam failure on Quesnel Lake have eroded public confidence in B.C.’s system.

“Actions flowing from this review will help restore public confidence in government’s oversight, to ensure the public interest is protected when it comes to resource management,” Heyman said Tuesday.

He said the B.C. government has lost capacity to regulate projects after a period of engineers and other professionals being hired by project proponents to file reports. In the case of contamination of the Hullcar aquifer, B.C.’s information commissioner had to order the release of water records because information from contracted professionals was withheld as private property, Heyman said.

Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau said she was “delighted” by the commitment to the review, which will also examine if people who are monitoring a project have a financial interest in it. A court challenge of the Shawnigan Lake contaminated soil site revealed such a situation, which Heyman said is clearly a conflict of interest.

“In Shawnigan we saw firsthand how the uncertainty created by professional reliance erodes trust,” Furstenau said. “The geologists hired to assess the safety of the contaminated soil facility adjacent to our community’s drinking water had a profit-sharing deal and would have benefitted from the project going ahead.”

Heyman said the Mount Polley investigation continues, as charges against individuals are considered for the collapse of the tailings dam in August 2014.

Just Posted

Rupert recreation parking rent fees set to decrease in 2018

Proposed changes will make it easier for vendors and renters to use recreation facilities

Coal train derailment near New Hazelton

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved after coal train derailment in Northern B.C.

WEB POLL: How concerned are you about wildlife encroaching on city space?

Both sightings were reported to RCMP, who did not find a the animal in the area

Sports briefs

Here’s what going on in Prince Rupert sports this weekend

RTI donates $138,500 for robotics in the school district

Ridley Terminals funds coding and robotic education in Prince Rupert classrooms

This Week Episode 68

From inside the Northern View office in Prince Rupert we bring you all the news headlines

Carriers wanted for the Northern View

We have open routes for carriers all over Prince Rupert

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

RCMP nail sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

High-end whisky seized in B.C. bar raids

Raids end in seizures at Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver whisky joints

Most Read