Bill Bennett, BC’s Minister of Energy and Mines took a trip up to Alaska to meet with officials there over concerns about mining and our shared watersheds. It’s often interesting to compare multiple media reports. If you want to skip the details, you can scroll to the last paragraph, where I reiterate why the media slant matters.
Here is Tom Fletcher, Black Press apologist for all things industrial. He has our Bill Bennett agreeing that an old mine leaking stuff into the Taku should be cleaned up, but fails to follow with natural questions over why it hasn’t been done for decades :
And here is Judith Lavoie in the Tyee
Note the differences.. rather than write about our similar approval processes, Lavoie interviews Alaska fishermen’s spokespeople and hears their concerns over accountability for damage potentially caused by BC mining. With no compensation agreement in place, the Alaskans feel that BC’s overly lax regulation poses a risk to their livelihoods. And isn’t that a fair point? If there is no clear liability risk for companies operating in BC who cause damage in Alaska, there is less incentive to, for example, move to dry stack tailings ponds. That’s what the expert Mt. Polley disaster panel recommended, but it’s being ignored.
Black Press reprints Tom Fletcher’s articles throughout smaller communities around BC in free (ad-funded) papers which for many, are the only newspapers they see. It’s a significant community service…these community papers are invaluable for keeping up with local news and events. But the relentlessly pro industry spin from Fletcher misinforms the electorate in these regions. I think if I were to do a PhD in journalism today, a fascinating thesis would be: analysis of the success of Provincial and Federal Political Parties by region, overlaid with analysis of the reach of particular media companies with a measurement of their bias.