Choose your next MLA – Norma Blissett’s answer to the question of the week

NDP candidate Norma Blissett answers this week's question.

  • Apr. 11, 2013 3:00 p.m.
Norma Blissett

Norma Blissett

Are you for or against a stall on mine expansions in the Elk Valley while more testing is carried out on selenium levels in the Elk River?

I see no reason for a stall on coal mining expansion in the Elk Valley at this time. Liberal Environment Minister Terry Lake has said there will be no new mines until Teck develops a valley-wide plan to manage selenium levels in the Elk River.

Teck has been working to reverse the trend of increasing selenium levels and will invest $600 million to install water diversion and treatment facilities, conduct research and improve selenium management.  A biological treatment facility is already being developed at the Line Creek mine.

Coal mining in the Elk Valley is a vital part of the East Kootenay and the provincial economy. The NDP’s top priority is to grow a sustainable economy and create jobs.

We support Teck’s efforts to address this issue of selenium management for the Elk River watershed. The people of the Kootenays value fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreation. We need to have strong protections in place to protect these values and human health from exposure to contaminants while continuing with the mining activity that supports our economy. Teck understands the extent of the problem and that a valley-wide plan must be in place in order to go forward.