As a proud citizen of Newfoundland & Labrador’s natural beauty I ask that government take action to stop the plan by Environment Canada to change the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations, so that new mines will not be allowed use unspoiled fish-bearing ponds to dump their toxic waste. The proposed Schedule 2 amendment to the MMER would allow ANY mine in Canada to pollute new fresh water areas. In addition to being ethically and environmentally wrong, it is in violation of the Fisheries Act, Section 36, and could even open the door to have the Fisheries Act changed. That this amendment was proposed in the first place is alarming. If it were to be passed into law it will go down in history as a step back in time to when it was acceptable to contaminate precious ecosystems teeming with life. That idea is completely objectionable.
The mining company Aur Resources plan to use two fish bearing ponds in Central Newfoundland to dump their toxic mine tailings. This would set a precedent of restoring a bygone practice that had been abolished. Many more mining companies would be getting in line to also use pristine Canadian ponds for their tailings disposal. Newfoundland & Labrador and all other provinces need to preserve and nurture the ponds, lakes, aquatic and wildlife in our ecosystems, rather than pollute more of them for decades to come, while paying for clean up, maintenance and health problems possibly resulting from contaminated areas. It would be a loss for future generations and an abuse of our province simply for the benefits of a company’s short term gain.
There are alternatives for the Duck Pond mining project, but Aur Resources have not seriously considered them in the Environment Impact Statement. The proposed Schedule 2 amendment to the MMER should be retracted so that the Fisheries Act, Section 36 principle of not allowing "deleterious substances" into fish bearing ponds will be upheld.
As a concerned citizen I demand that Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries & Oceans take a stand which protects and preserves our environment. I want to send the message that our lakes and waterways are not open for business. I strongly urge you to intervene to stop the archaic Schedule 2 amendment from being law.
Federal Environment Minister
The Honourable Rona Ambrose
The Honourable Loyola Hearn
Federal Minister, Fisheries and Oceans
The Hon. Bill Matthews
Federal Fisheries Critic
The Honourable Scott Brison
Federal Environment Critic
The Honourable Clyde Jackman
Environment Minister for Newfoundland & Labrador
Mr. Gerry Reid
Leader of the NL Official Opposition, and Fisheries and Aquaculture critic
Hon. Percy Barrett
Environment and Labour Critic for Newfoundland & Labrador
Quick Backgrounder: Environment Canada has proposed a change to the Metal Mining Effluents Regulations (MMER) which will allow mining companies to pollute unspoiled fish-bearing ponds to dump their toxic waste (currently illegal). This would mean that any pristine life-giving pond or lake in Canada could be contaminated. But this is not law yet, however, it could be unless government officials hear people's objections about this, then take action to see that it does not proceed, hence the letter.
For more background, please scroll down the page to read the May 21 & 26 posts.