VANCOUVER—A B.C. environmental organization says lax mining regulation is putting B.C. waterways at risk, even as resource ministers on Wednesday touted Canada as a top source for the metals and minerals the world needs to transition to a green economy.
“Our big concern is how much of B.C.’s competitive advantage, as they call it, is actually just weak environmental regulations,” said Lars Sander-Green, a science and communications analyst with Wildsight.
Sander-Green’s comments came as the annual conference of ministers responsible for energy and mines wrapped up. This year’s conference was held in Cranbrook, B.C.
The mining sector, which provides close to 40,000 jobs across the province, is a major economic driver in B.C. For years, the industry has also been a source of consternation for environmental groups.
In the Elk Valley, an area east of Cranbrook, pollution from Teck’s steelmaking coal mines has long been a concern. The issue, Sander-Green explained, is the dumping of waste rock — rock that is cleared to access the coal.