The Bill Bennett dog and pony show has been wheeled out in the media once again, this time to cover for his long time pal and major campaign contributor Murray Edwards – the majority shareholder at the now infamous Mount Polley Mine.
The recent debacle at Mount Polley has the potential for being the biggest environmental disaster in B.C. history. It has the mining company, Imperial Metals, President running in circles with claims that the sludge from their tailings pond is of drinking water quality.
It also has Minister of Mines and Energy, Bill Bennett, doing damage control on behalf of the BC Liberals for their mismanagement of mining in BC, instead choosing to let companies police themselves as the BC Liberals rid themselves of government inspectors.
But why would Bennett take the political hit and defend the operation when Imperial Metals has been so openly reckless in their stewardship of the environment?
Remember back in January 2013 when Murray Edwards and Rod Love had a $125 per plate fundraiser in Calgary for the B.C. Liberals prior to the last provincial election? Dig a little deeper and you’ll find that Murray Edwards, through his various corporate operations, gave an additional $482,857 to the BC Liberals over the last several years: Pennwest Petroleum – $65,835, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies – $23,522, Mount Polley Mining – $46,720, Ensign Drilling $15,000, Imperial Metals – $178,300 and Canadian Natural Resources – $153,480 (source: Elections B.C.).
No wonder the BC Liberals began gutting the Ministry of Mines and paving the way for pipelines as soon they came into power. Less regulation and enforcement means more room for profit.
And with the 18th richest billionaire in Canada as Bennett and Clark’s major campaign contributor, we should expect to see more of the Minister of Energy and Mines sitting pretty in front of the cameras, as he whitewashes the Mount Polley disaster for his buddy Mr. Edwards.
Say cheese Minister Bennett!