When disaster strikes, always err on the side of action

FRIDAY MORNING EDITORIAL — What’s a politician to do?

If you stay away from a disaster on the grounds you’re letting the experts do their job and it’s best you don’t interfere, you catch hell for not showing leadership in a time of crisis.

John Horgan speaks to Kamloops crowd tonight.

John Horgan beat Clark to the punch.

If you show up at the scene, you get lambasted for playing politics.

Premier Christy Clark stayed away from Mount Polley for three days, then visited Likely on Thursday  in time for the announcement of preliminary water testing results at a public meeting.

As far as we can tell, she did quite well, taking part in a First Nations healing ceremony, flying over the area for a look at the damage being done by the Mount Polley Mine’s burst tailings pond, and speaking to residents and the press.

She carefully kept to her key messages of concern for residents, don’t know much yet, must find out.

But Clark was a day behind NDP leader John Horgan, who was there Wednesday demanding that the government release any and all documents related to “the development, monitoring and enforcement” of the mine’s tailings pond and dam.

Which, by the way, the government was doing that same day. But Clark’s hesitation to take the lead on the Mount Polley file gave Horgan a chance to beat her to the punch where it counted, on the ground.

“The tailings pond failure at Mount Polley Mine may be the worst industrial accident in B.C. I’ve seen in my lifetime and Premier Clark and the Liberal government need to be held accountable for their role in it,” he said.

Which left Clark playing catchup on Thursday. The lesson being, when disaster strikes, always err on the side of action rather than inaction.

About Mel Rothenburger (7200 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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