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Environment commissioner gives Canada failing grade on contaminated sites in North – Nanaimo News Now

Apr 30, 2024

OTTAWA — Canada’s environment commissioner says Ottawa is failing to remediate contaminated sites in the North, leaving Indigenous peoples at risk and raising the government’s own financial liability for the polluted areas.

Commissioner Jerry DeMarco says in a new audit published today that the government’s liability for contaminated sites increased by $7 billion in the nearly 20 years since the government launched a plan to remediate and reclaim abandoned mines.

More than 60 per cent of that liability is in the North.

DeMarco says at one mine there is still ongoing work needed to keep contaminated water from leeching into surrounding areas, while another still houses a large volume of arsenic, which needs to remain frozen underground.

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