Williams Lake Tribune
The Mount Polley Mine tailings impoundment breach will be discussed with local stakeholders including First Nations, local government leaders and community groups with a United Nations working group coming to Williams Lake on Sunday, May 28. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo.
A United Nations Working Group (UNWG) is stopping in Williams Lake Sunday, May 28 to discuss the 2014 Mount Polley Mine breach with First Nations, local government officials and community groups.
Undertaking an official visit to Canada, May 23 to June 1, at the invitation of the federal government, the working group which focuses on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, will also visit Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary.
The stop in Williams Lake is the result of efforts by Amnesty International Canada, said Tara Scurr, business and human rights campaigner.
“We were notified that the working group was coming to Canada so we sent a letter supporting their visit and outlined the Mount Polley breach and asked if they would be interested in coming to Williams Lake and meeting with rights holders, government and industry to learn more about it,” Scurr told the Tribune.
Before Amnesty sent out the letter, however, it surveyed a number of different First Nations and community groups in Williams Lake to see if there would be support for hosting a UN meeting.
“People said ‘yes, please go ahead and invite them,’ so it wasn’t without some preparatory work.”
Agreeing to come to Williams Lake, the UN working group scheduled the Sunday, May 28 stop in the lakecity for five hours.
Guests that are confirmed to attend are coming from Tsilhqot’in and Secwepemc territories, different Williams Lake and Quesnel area community groups and from Kamloops.