LinkedIn to pay nearly $6 million in overtime wages, damages – National

NEW YORK – Professional networking service LinkedIn has agreed to pay nearly $6 million in unpaid wages and damages to 359 current and former employees, the Labor Department said on Monday.

The U.S. Department of Labor said an investigation found LinkedIn Corp. in violation of overtime and record-keeping rules that are part of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. It said the violations occurred at company branches in California, Illinois, Nebraska and New York.

RELATED: Keep up with Global News on LinkedIn

A representative for Mountain View, California-based LinkedIn did not immediately respond to a message for comment.

LinkedIn agreed to pay the back wages once it was notified of the violations and to take steps to prevent them from happening again.

Federal law requires that hourly employees get paid 1.5 times their regular hourly rates for hours they work beyond 40 per week.

HangZhou Night Net


  • Over 2 million stolen Facebook, LinkedIn and Google passwords leaked online

  • ‘Responsible’ overused on LinkedIn profiles

©2014The Canadian Press

Helicopter pilot believes he was shot at with flare gun over Ladner skies

VANCOUVER — No good deed goes unpunished, at least not for Daryl Goodwin.

He’s a Ladner pilot and donates helicopter rides to different charities in the area that they sell off for silent auctions. Recently, he took the most recent winners up for a tour. They were a mother and a daughter; the mother was 90-years-old.

Part way through the flight, something exploded in the sky in front of them.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

“It was basically vertical, straight vertical, right up in front of us. I have no idea what they were trying to do but it could have been a catastrophic disaster,” Goodwin told Global News. 

The trio had toured the North Shore and were checking on one of Goodwin’s turf fields along the journey, flying at 250 to 300 feet, when Goodwin noticed what looked like a flare.

“I’ve been flying helicopter for over 20 years, retired from the airline for 33 years and I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” he said.

One of the passengers saw it too and they turned the chopper back to see what the flash could have been. They saw two men on the ground, and one walked 20 feet out and started gesturing toward the helicopter with his finger, according to Goodwin. He said he believes someone intentionally shot at his chopper with a gun powder-based bird banger, which are supposed to be shot horizontally and not up in the air.

The consequences could have been deadly for the pilot and his passengers. Goodwin says the propeller might have disintegrated on impact or the engine could have exploded if hit in the right spot. He reported it immediately to Air Traffic Control in Richmond, and the Delta Police and Transportation Safety Board are now investigating the incident.

— With files from Darlene Heidemann.

Israeli rights don’t justify ‘massacre’ of civilians: France – National

PARIS – Israel’s right to security does not justify the “massacre” of civilians, France’s foreign minister said Monday in unusually harsh language against a close ally. The French president said Gaza was among the wars that called into question any ability to remain neutral.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

“How many more deaths must there be to stop what must be called the carnage in Gaza? The tradition of friendship between France and Israel is old and Israel’s right to security is total, but this right does not justify the killing of children and the massacre of civilians,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.

The Gaza war, in its fourth week, has killed more than 1,800 Palestinians and more than 60 Israelis.

READ MORE: Israeli airstrike kills militant leader in Gaza Strip ahead of truce

Fabius said a cease-fire, followed by a two-state solution, is needed and “should be imposed by the international community because, despite numerous attempts, the two sides have shown themselves to be incapable of concluding negotiations.”

In a speech commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, French President Francois Hollande said wars raging near Europe’s borders called neutrality into question. In a grim litany of violence, he cited Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and, finally, Gaza.

“How can we remain neutral, when in Gaza a deadly conflict endures for nearly a month?” Hollande said. “There is an obligation to act.”

US airports screen for passengers with Ebola’s flu-like symptoms  – National

WASHINGTON – Government agents at U.S. airports are watching travellers from Africa for flu-like symptoms that could be tied to the recent Ebola outbreak, as delegations from some 50 countries arrive in the nation’s capital for a leadership summit this week.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net


  • Ebola treatment kept secret: Possible serums and effect on survivors

  • 2nd American missionary sick with Ebola to land in US Tuesday morning

  • West Africa Ebola deaths near 900 as Nigeria confirms 2nd case

Border patrol agents at Washington’s Dulles International and New York’s JFK airports in particular have been told to ask travellers about possible exposure to the virus and to be on the lookout for anyone with a fever, headache, achiness, sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, rash or red eyes.

READ MORE: Health agency urges Canadians to stay away from Ebola-affected countries

Andrews Air Force Base in suburban Maryland, which will receive several African heads of state, is screening passengers too, while U.S. Secret Service agents in charge of security for the three-day summit have been briefed on what to look for and how to respond, officials said Monday.

If a passenger is suspected of carrying the deadly virus, they would be quarantined immediately and evaluated by medical personnel, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which provided the additional training to local airports.

“There is always the possibility that someone with an infectious disease can enter the United States,” CDC spokeswoman Barbara Reynolds said Monday.

“The public health concern is whether it would spread, and, if so, how quickly.”‘

The Ebola virus causes a hemorrhagic fever that has sickened more than 1,300 people in Africa, killing more than 700 mostly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. It is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids, such as blood or urine, unlike an airborne virus like influenza or the common cold. A person exposed to the virus can take up to 21 days to exhibit any symptoms, making it possible for infected travellers to enter the U.S. without knowing they have it.

READ MORE: Ebola treatment kept secret: Possible serums and effect on survivors

While the CDC says it is not screening passengers boarding planes at African airports – the job of local authorities there – the centre said it has encouraged vulnerable countries to follow certain precautions. Outbound passengers in the countries experiencing Ebola are being screened for fevers and with health questionnaires, Reynolds said.

Health officials say the threat to Americans remains relatively small, even with the uptick in travel this week between Africa and the United States. In the past decade, five people have entered the U.S. known to have a viral hemorrhagic fever, including a case last March of a Minnesota man diagnosed with Lassa Fever after travelling to West Africa.

Reynolds said in all five instances, U.S. officials were able to contain the illness.

A vaccine against Ebola has been successfully tested with monkeys, and there is hope it could become available as early as next July, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health told “CBS This Morning” television on Monday.

©2014The Canadian Press

Toledo mayor lifts water ban for 400,000 residents – National

WATCH ABOVE: After a weekend without water – like is getting back to normal in Toledo Ohio. The water there was contaminated with a toxin, but this morning testing showed it is once again safe to drink.

TOLEDO, Ohio – A water ban that had hundreds of thousands of people in Ohio and Michigan scrambling for drinking water has been lifted, Toledo’s mayor announced Monday.

Mayor D. Michael Collins lifted the ban at a Monday morning news conference, and said the city’s drinking water is safe.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

Ohio’s fourth-largest city warned residents not to use city water early Saturday after tests at one treatment plant showed readings for microcystin above the standard for consumption, most likely from algae on the lake. Ohio Gov. John Kasich declared a state of emergency.

Early Monday, Collins kept in place an advisory against drinking or using the water pending additional tests. At a 3 a.m. news conference, Collins said it was his decision to keep the advisory in place at least into the morning hours, even though latest test results suggest the algae-induced toxin contaminating Lake Erie had probably dissipated to safe levels. The mayor said two tests had come back “too close for comfort.”

READ MORE: Toledo’s tainted tap water improving, but should still be avoided: mayor

With the warning, worried residents told not to drink, brush their teeth or wash dishes with the water descended on truckloads of bottled water delivered from across the state. The Ohio National Guard was using water purification systems to produce drinkable water.

Oliver Arnold, of Toledo, loaded up on bottled water Sunday so that he could give baths to his six children, including 4-month-old twins. “We’re going through a lot. I know by tomorrow, we’re going to be looking for water again,” he said.

Some hospitals cancelled elective surgeries and were sending surgical equipment that needed sterilized to facilities outside the water emergency, said Bryan Biggie, disaster co-ordinator for ProMedica hospitals in Toledo.

READ MORE: Too early to tell what caused toxic spike in Toledo’s water supply

In southeastern Michigan, authorities were operating water stations Sunday for the 30,000 customers affected by the toxic contamination.

Drinking the water could cause vomiting, cramps and rashes. But no serious illnesses had been reported by late Sunday. Health officials advised children and those with weak immune systems to avoid showering or bathing in the water.

Amid the emergency, discussion began to centre around how to stop the pollutants fouling the lake that supplies drinking water for 11 million people.

“People are finally waking up to the fact that this is not acceptable,” Collins said.

The toxins that contaminated the region’s drinking water supply didn’t just suddenly appear.

Water plant operators along western Lake Erie have long been worried about this very scenario as a growing number of algae blooms have turned the water into a pea soup colour in recent summers, leaving behind toxins that can sicken people and kill pets.

In fact, the problems on the shallowest of the five Great Lakes brought on by farm runoff and sludge from sewage treatment plants have been building for more than a decade.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a satellite image showing a small but concentrated algae bloom centred right where Toledo draws its water supply, said Jeff Reutter, head of the Ohio Sea Grant research lab.

The bloom was much smaller than in past years and isn’t expected to peak until early September. But instead of being pushed out to the middle of the lake, winds and waves drove the algae toward the shore, he said.

“Weather conditions made it such that bloom was going right into the water intakes,” said Reutter, who has been studying the lake since the 1970s, when it was severely polluted.

The amount of phosphorus going into the lake has risen every year since the mid-1990s. “We’re right back to where we were in the ’70s,” Reutter said.

Almost a year ago, one township just east of Toledo told its 2,000 residents not to drink or use the water coming from their taps. That was believed to be the first time a city has banned residents from using the water because of toxins from algae in the lake.

Researchers largely blame the algae’s resurgence on manure and chemical fertilizer from farms that wash into the lake along with sewage treatment plants. Leaky septic tanks and stormwater drains have contributed, too. Combined, they flush huge amounts of phosphorus into the lake.

Environmental groups and water researchers have been calling on Ohio and other states in the Great Lakes region to drastically reduce the amount of phosphorus flowing into the lake. Ohio lawmakers this past spring took a step toward tackling the algae problem when they enacted a law requiring most farmers to undergo training before they use commercial fertilizers on their fields. But they have stopped short of mandating restrictions on farmers.

The International Joint Commission, an advisory agency made up of Canadian and U.S. officials, said last year urgent steps are needed to reduce phosphorus applied to fields, suggesting among other things that states ban the spread of manure on frozen or snow-covered ground.

That report came after a state task force in Ohio called for a 40 per cent reduction in all forms of phosphorus going into the lake.

Agriculture industry groups have been asking farmers for more than a year to reduce phosphorus runoff before government regulators step in and impose their own restrictions.

“We’re clearly showing progress,” Reutter said. “You have to decide for yourself whether you think it’s fast enough.”

In Michigan, Detroit’s 4 million-user water system gets its water from Lake Huron and the Detroit River. In the face of the Toledo water crisis, Detroit officials plan to review their contamination procedures Monday, water department Deputy Director Darryl Latimer told The Detroit News. He said it was unlikely Detroit would face a problem like Toledo’s.

“The system is tested every two weeks for blue-green algae,” Latimer said. “We haven’t seen the precursors for this type of toxin.”

Ebola treatment kept secret: Possible serums and effect on survivors – National

WATCH: Doctors are treating two infected Americans with an experimental Ebola serum, never before used on humans … and it’s working. Anthony Robart reports.

TORONTO – As the death toll from Ebola in several West Africa countries climbed to 887, a special plane was sent to evacuate the second American missionary who contracted the disease in a Liberia treatment facility. But the experimental serum being used on the Americans remains somewhat of a mystery.

Missionary Nancy Writebol’s plane is set to arrive in the U.S. Tuesday, where she will join Dr. Kent Brantly in an Atlanta hospital’s special isolation ward. Brantly has already received a unit of blood from a 14-year-old boy, an Ebola survivor, who had been under his care, said the aid organization he works for.

But neither organizations are commenting on further treatment for their workers or which serum is being used.

Dr. Kent Brantly is shown in this 2013 photo provided by JPS Health Network.

AP Photo/JPS Health Network

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net


  • West Africa Ebola deaths near 900 as Nigeria confirms 2nd case

  • 5 things to know about the Ebola outbreak amid fears of global spread

  • Canadian-made Ebola drug not used on U.S. missionary

  • Doctor with Ebola gives experimental serum to infected colleague

“It’s one of two possibilities,” suggested Dr. William Schaffner, a preventive medicine expert from Nashville’s Vanderbilt University.

“One is they could have taken some serum from a patient who has recovered from Ebola and used that in and of itself as the treatment. Or they could have …made a monoclonal antibody to Ebola and used that.”

Schaffner said a monoclonal antibody means producing an antibody in a molecular-biological fashion rather than taking it from a recovered patient.

“When we first heard that plasma or a blood transfusion had been given to these two patients—the plasma first to the lady, and then the blood transfusion to Dr. Brantly—we actually thought it was the first of the two possibilities: that these were harvested from survivors of Ebola and then infused into the sick patients,” said Schaffer.

“It’s strange that we don’t have a little bit more information yet about these details.”

No vaccine or antidote

Ebola has no vaccine or antidote, but international relief group Samaritan’s Purse (the group Brantly works for) said both workers were given the experimental treatment last week. Samaritan’s Purse has been providing emergency response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa for months.

Writebol has received two doses of the serum and is showing marked improvement, said Palmer Holt, a spokesman for Service in Mission (SIM), the aid organization for which Writebol works.

Nancy Writebol with children in Liberia. Writebol is one of two Americans working for a missionary group in Liberia that have been diagnosed with Ebola.

AP Photo/Courtesy Jeremy Writebol

“She is walking with assistance….strength is better…has an appetite,” wrote Holt in an email to Global News. When asked for details on which serum Writebol received, Holt said, “Medical questions not our area of expertise.”

Companies testing Ebola treatments

Aside from using survivor plasma, there are two pharmaceutical companies that have been working with the U.S. military to help find a treatment for the drug, according to the International Business Times.

One is Canadian company Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp., which has already issued a statement that no one infected in the ongoing outbreak in West Africa has been treated with its drug, called TKM-Ebola.

Although there are a number of Ebola therapies in development, Tekmira’s is thought to be the furthest along in the regulatory process, though its clinical trial was recently put on hold by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which asked for additional data related to an inflammatory reaction seen when the drug was given at higher doses.

A second company working on the treatment is Mapp Biopharmaceuticals, developed with the help of tobacco leaves, according to the IB Times. CNN reports this is the company responsible for the drug administered to Writebol and Brantly.

A 2011 Arizona State University Report suggested Mapp’s plant-derived vaccine for Ebola “provided strong immunological protection in a mouse model” in which 80 per cent of mice given the treatment compounds survived.

‘Desperate times’ and life after Ebola

Ebola, which causes hemorrhagic fever, spreads through close contact with bodily fluids and blood, meaning it is not spread as easily as airborne influenza or the common cold. Doctors and other health workers on the front lines of the Ebola crisis have been among the most vulnerable to infection as they are in direct physical contact with patients.

Schaffner said experimental serums have a long tradition in the history of the treatment of infectious diseases.

This image by the CDC shows an Ebola virus.

AP Photo/CDC, File

“If you have experimental, possibly therapeutic mechanisms or devices available, you can use them in individual patients in exigent circumstances—and this is the kind of emergent circumstance in which you might try something even in advance of a clinical trial.

“Desperate times demand desperate measures, and you do those things only in very controlled and limited circumstances.”

While the fatality rate for Ebola can be as high as 90 per cent, health officials in the three countries say the current crisis is killing at least 60 per cent of the people it infects in Africa.

But there have been some survivors. Schaffner said not many survivors have been studied, but the body would eventually rid itself of the virus for a complete recovery, unlike other diseases.

“You don’t create a chronic infection like HIV or sometimes Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C, where the patient for months and years continues to have the virus in the body with the risk of a resurgent disease; that does not happen with Ebola.

“It is not an auto-immune disease, and it is not a chronic infection.”

With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press

Block Parent Program makes a comeback in the West Island – Montreal

WATCH ABOVE: Many in Montreal’s West Island are working hard to bring the Block Parent program back to life. Rachel Lau has more.

POINTE-CLAIRE – For more than 40 years, the Block Parent Program was a comfort for parents; a red-and-white sign that everyone on your street was looking out for your children.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

“We say it takes a village to raise children, but it also takes a village to watch over our children,” said Pina Arcamone, Director General of the Missing Children’s Network.

“The Block Parent sign, I think, is one of the icons that is well-known across the province.”

Over the years, Block Parent signs have slowly disappeared, but many in Montreal’s West Island are working hard to bring the program back to life.

“There were Block Parent signs pretty much on every street at that time,” said Pamela Santini, who was a Block Parent when the program first started back in the 1970s.

She remembers the relief children felt when they saw that red sign in her window.

“Mums were just starting to head back to work,” she said.

“It certainly was something that our children learnt that it could be a safe place.”

The Block Parent signs started disappearing in the early 2000s, but some residents insist their West Island neighbourhoods have never lost that community feel.

“Everyone kind of does look out for everyone,” said mother Kimberly Holt.

“They usually do know all the kids on the block.”

Grandmother Joyce Docherty admitted parents worry more about their kids now than they did be fore.

“I guess things have changed since my kids were small,” she said.

“We used to let them walk to school by themselves and come up to the park on their own, but now it’s not done.”

Bringing the Block Parent program back to the West Island is good news to the Missing Children’s Network, as a way to encourage parents to have that conversation about the importance of safety.

“We want to watch over our children, we need to watch over our children,” said Arcamone.

“Collectively we can protect children, and maybe even discourage perpetrators from committing crimes.”

For Santini, the return of the Block Parent Program is also a way to make sure children are aware of their surroundings.

“I don’t think children get as many chances to learn to make good judgments for themselves,” she said.

“We are protecting them so much. We drive them everywhere, few go on school buses. They don’t have as much awareness.”

Anyone who is interested in becoming a Block Parent is encouraged to apply online.

Wal-Mart to personalize online shopping experience – National

NEW YORK – Wal-Mart, in its latest bid to compete with nemesis Amazon杭州夜网, is making changes to its website to personalize the online shopping experience of each customer.

Wal-Mart is rolling out a feature that will enable its website to show shoppers more products that they may like, based on their previous purchases. It also will customize Wal-Mart’s home page for each shopper based on where that customer lives, showing local weather and events, as well as the customer’s search and purchase histories.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

So if a new mom just bought a stroller or crib on Walmart杭州夜网, the revamped website might recommend diapers and car seats, too. And if someone who lives in Dallas searches the website for sports jerseys, Walmart杭州夜网 could suggest Rangers or Dallas Cowboy gear.

The personalization feature is part of a push by Wal-Mart to improve the online shopping experience of its customers, leading up to a complete re-launch of the site in early 2015. The retailer is looking to boost its business online at a time when its U.S. discount division has seen disappointing sales.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s e-commerce sales increased by 30 per cent to over $10 billion in its fiscal year that ended Jan. 31. By comparison, Wal-Mart’s U.S. discount division has had five straight quarters of sales declines at stores opened at least a year. Wal-Mart sees big growth opportunity in the online business: Online sales still are only a fraction of the $473 billion Wal-Mart generated in overall annual revenue, dwarfed by Amazon’s $60.9 billion in annual sales.

The move to personalize websites for shoppers has become a top priority for traditional brick-and-mortar retailers like Wal-Mart as they play catch up with Amazon杭州夜网, the online king that pioneered customizing content for shoppers. Retailers increasingly are trying to use their reams of customer data they get from mobile devices and computers to personalize their websites and ultimately, boost sales.

Other retailers, including home-improvement chain Home Depot and office-supplies retailer Staples, have been ahead of Wal-Mart in the race to personalize the online shopping experience. In fact, a quarter of customers who visit Home Depot’s home page see product recommendations that are based on recent purchase or browser history, according to the company.

Retailers have seen benefits in personalizing their websites for customers, as well as other efforts to improve the online shopping experience. Overall, Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru said that changes in customization can help lift a retailer’s online sales in the mid-single digits.

Wal-Mart said that customers have responded well to improvements it has made to its website in the past two years, including quadrupling the assortment of items it offers online to 8 million. For example, when Wal-Mart updated its search tool, it saw a 20 per cent increase in shoppers completing a purchase after searching for a product using the new search engine.

Wal-Mart has other changes in store for customers. Among them: Over the next couple of months, customers will see a quicker online checkout process: They’ll view one page instead of six before clicking on the “buy” button. And the company will be able to update web pages quicker with new products.

Calgary concert to honour Brentwood murder victims

CALGARY – It’s expected thousands of people will gather at a memorial concert this fall, which will be held in honour of five Calgarians killed in a horrific mass murder.

Zackariah Rathwell, 21, Jordan Segura, 22, Josh Hunter, 23, Kaitlin Perras, 23, and Lawrence Hong, 27, were stabbed to death at a house party in Brentwood on April 15th.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net


  • Site of Calgary’s worst mass murder up for sale

  • Accused in Calgary’s worst mass murder will undergo assessment

The concert will pay tribute to the young victims, and help raise funds for scholarships created in their honour.

READ MORE: Young Calgary stabbing victims receive honorary degrees

The event was organized by Kyle Tenove and Barry Mason, who used to play in the band Zackariah & The Prophets with both Hunter and Rathwell.

They say they were left scrambling to find a venue after the University of Calgary’s Student’s Union denied their request to use campus space.

Although officials later reversed their decision, Tenove and Mason decided instead to host the concert at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.

Mason was with Josh Hunter’s father when he was contacted by government officials who offered up the venue.

“When we found out, both of us, we had tears kind of welling up in our eyes,” says Mason. “We never could have imagined having such a large-scale forum for us to do this event.”

“What we want to do is not think about that tragic end, we want to really celebrate the years before.”

The concert will be held on Thursday, September 4th, 2014.

– With files from Carolyn Kury de Castillo

Residents calling it an environmental disaster: tailings pond breach at Mount Polley Mine near Likely, BC

WATCH: The scale of Monday’s disaster at the Mount Polley Mine is becoming more clear tonight.  Reporter John Daly has more on how authorities are responding to the tailings breach

Local residents are calling it an environmental disaster.

A breach of the tailings pond on Mount Polley Mine sent five million cubic metres of toxic waste into Hazeltine Creek, Quesnel Lake and Polley Lake, with fears it could spread far and wide in the coming days.

Residents in the area, along with visitors to waterways near the Mount Polley Mine close to Likely, B.C., have been issued a complete water ban. Affecting close to 300 homes, it extends to the entire Quesnel and Cariboo River systems up to the Fraser River, including Quesnel Lake, Cariboo Creek, Hazeltine Creek and Polley Lake.

People in Quesnel are also being asked to avoid using water from the Quesnel River, and late in the day the Cariboo Regional District extended the water advisory right to the Fraser River – although they said that was a precautionary measure.

WATCH: Aerial view of the destruction from the Mount Polley Mine tailings pond breach

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

There are already concerns that the total damage will be immense. The sheer volume of toxic slurry from the pond – equivalent to 2,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools – caused Hazeltine Creek to expand from four feet in width to 150, and some of the sludge has already made its way into Quesnel Lake and Polley Lake.

READ MORE: Concerns about Mount Polley tailings pond were raised 3 years ago

Phil Owens, a professor at the University of Northern British Columbia and researcher with the Quesnel River Research Centre, says it’s impossible to know at this stage where the tailings will stop.

“Once something starts, it will just cascade down through the chain,” he said.

“We don’t know when it will stop, and we don’t know when it will move through the system.”

Al Richmond, the Cariboo Regional District Chair and Area G Director told Global News that clean-up is premature at this point and officials are still assessing the situation.

“Our concern mainly is first of all for life and limb and there’s been no one injured in this event and for that we’re thankful,” he said. “Our next concern is for the community of Likely and those folks living around Likely that their water supply is safe and potable for them to use.”

WATCH: An environmental disaster is unfolding in the Cariboo. Catherine Urquhart reports.

The Ministry of Environment said the breach at Mount Polley Mine happened in the middle of the night on August 4. The ministry. along with the Cariboo Regional District (CRD), RCMP, Central Cariboo Search and Rescue and emergency management crews are investigating and assessing the possible environmental impact.

Mount Polley Mine is an open pit copper and gold mine, which is operated by Imperial Metals Corporation. The dam that holds back the tailings pond is an earth-filled dam.

MAP: Route from Mount Polley Mine to Williams Lake

The Horsefly Likely Forest Service Road has been washed out at Hazeltine Creek, but the Likely Bridge is not affected at this time.

Rob Hood, president of the Likely Chamber of Commerce, told Global News that the Cedar Point Provincial Park campground has also been evacuated.

There are concerns around the debris and chemicals from the tailing ponds coming down into Quesnel Lake, Hood says, where approximately 300 people get their drinking water. Others fear the billions of litres of contaminated water could pollute other water ways in the area. The alert will remain in place until test results are completed.

READ MORE: Water from breached tailings pond near Likely B.C. is almost drinkable: President

Likely resident, Larry Chambers says he was woken at 3 a.m. and could hear the sounds of rushing water. “I could hear the roar like a 747 jet,” he told Global News.

Chambers describes Polley Lake as “milky green” and says the flood is bringing in a ton of debris. Residents described a stench in the air and dead fish washing up.

MAP: Mount Polley Mine Infrastructure.

From Imperial Metals

WATCH: The resource industry is BC’s fastest growing economic sector and tailing pond breaches don’t help generate confidence among people already wary about environmental risks. Jas Johal reports.

Several employees of the mine, who wished to remain anonymous to protect their jobs, said the same tailings pond had a minor breach three months ago.

Common minerals and elements found in tailings – which is the waste material left over from the extraction of metals – can include: arsenic, mercury, sulfur and cyanide.

A spokesperson from the Ministry of Environment told Global News that, “further monitoring and testing of waterways will be required before the full extent of potential environmental impacts can be determined. Steps are being taken to put those processes in place.”

Imperial Metals has issued the following statement:

Imperial Metals Corporation reports the tailings storage facility at its Mount Polley mine was breached, releasing an undetermined amount of water and tailings in the early morning of August 4. The cause of the breach is unknown at this time.

Senior company management are at the mine site and are working with mine operating personnel, local agencies, provincial ministry officials and the engineers of record to assess the extent of the breach and the impact of the released water and tailings on the surrounding area.

The Company will provide further information when confirmed and available.

RELATED VIDEO: Reporter Jas Johal spoke with Imperial Metals last year about BC Hydro’s Northwest Transmission Line 


Aerial photo of the lake and breach, Global News.

Global News

Aerial photo of the breach site, Global News.

Global News

Polley Lake after the tailings breach. Photo by Larry Chambers

Polley Lake after the tailings breach. Photo by Larry Chambers

Polley Lake after the tailings breach. Photo by Larry Chambers

Polley Lake after the tailings breach. Photo by Larry Chambers

Polley Lake after the tailings breach. Photo by Larry Chambers

Polley Lake after the tailings breach. Photo by Larry Chambers

Before and after, credit Elaine Lucas.

Elaine Lucas

Post-breach, credit Larry Chambers.

Larry Chambers

Where the tailings came down, credit Larry Chambers.

Larry Chambers

Quesnel Lake, near the site of the breach, via Facebook.

Where Hazeltine Creek enters Quesnel Lake.

Where Hazeltine Creek enters Quesnel Lake.

Where Hazeltine Creek enters Quesnel Lake.

Where Hazeltine Creek enters Quesnel Lake.