Province halts private prosecution against Mount Polley tailings spill (CBC News B.C. – January 30, 2018)

Bev Sellars had filed court documents alleging that Mount Polley Mining Corp. polluted the environment

The B.C. Prosecution Service announced Tuesday it will not pursue private charges in the 2014 collapse of the tailings dam at the Mount Polley mine. The charges were filed by Indigenous woman Bev Sellars days after British Columbia’s government announced that provincial charges would not be laid.

On August 4, 2017, Bev Sellars swore a private Information alleging that the Mount Polley Mining Corporation (MPMC) had committed various offences contrary to the provincial Environmental Management Act and Mines Act.

The prosecution service says it does not usually permit a private prosecution to proceed. In this situation however it reviewed everything Sellars submitted.

“After conducting its review, the BCPS concluded that the material provided does not meet the charge assessment standard for approval of charges,” it said.

Citizens can pursue private prosecution if they believe an offence has been committed, but in B.C., the court can decide not to proceed if it believes there is no reasonable prospect of conviction.

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