March 22 was World Water Day, a day to celebrate, respect and appreciate the liquid that sustains life.
Given the critical importance of this fluid, it is shameful that we do not take better care of our waterways and water bodies.
Four-and-a-half years ago, on Aug. 4, 2014, the four-square-kilometre Mount Polley gold and copper mine tailings pond failed, emptying itself into Polley Lake, Hazeltine Creek, Quesnel Lake and Cariboo River.
A toxic cocktail of selenium, arsenic and other metals contaminated some of the most pristine waters in the world.
One would think something of this magnitude would shake citizens of the B.C. Interior to the core and prompt government bodies to take immediate action to ensure this situation is remediated and that the company responsible be held accountable.
That has not happened.
To date, no fines have been levied and no charges laid. The statute of limitations for legal action expires this August.
If no action is taken, the entities responsible will not be held accountable and the risk of this type of disaster occurring elsewhere will continue because Mount Polley was considered the gold standard for environmental safety.
Other projects are being planned based on the design and practices of Mount Polley.
I urge everyone who cares about water, the environment and human rights to contact your government representatives to demand action be taken prior to August.
We all need to do whatever we can to respect and protect water, the element that sustains us all.