Imperial Metals’ offices raided in Mount Polley investigation
Read this Feb. 4 Vancouver Sun story by Gordon Hoekstra on the surprise raid of Mount Polley Mine owner Imperial Metals’ offices. The company and its Engineer of Record may have gotten off lightly with a government-appointed panel’s recent report, but this joint investigation looks to be digging deeper into the the company’s tailings dam disaster and could result in formal charges and fines.
Imperial Metals offices and mine site were raided Tuesday to obtain evidence in the provincial and federal investigation into the Mount Polley mine tailings dam failure.
The search warrant was executed as part of a joint investigation by Environment Canada, its enforcement branch, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the RCMP, said B.C. Conservation Office inspector Chris Doyle.
While Doyle said he could not say on whom or where the warrant was executed, Imperial Metals confirmed late Tuesday a search warrant was executed on its offices in downtown Vancouver and at the Mount Polley mine site near Likely in the B.C. Interior, 100 kilometres northeast of Williams Lake.
In downtown Vancouver Tuesday evening, uniformed conservation officers — some who wore what appeared to be bulletproof vests — could be spotted looking through Imperial Metals’ offices and documents on the second floor of 580 Hornby St.
Dave Hill, a security guard at the building, said officers had locked down the floor. He said they went up carrying bags and it “looked like they’ll be there a while.”
Doyle said he could not say what information they had used to obtain the search warrant or elaborate on why action was being taken now. The dam failure occurred on Aug. 4.
Doyle said they were gathering evidence to be presented to provincial and federal Crown prosecutors.
The investigation could lead to charges and fines.
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