In October, B.C. Premier John Horgan made a visit to the Rio Tinto Alcan smelter on the banks of the Douglas Channel in Kitimat.
He praised the facility for being “a great example of how companies can improve conditions for workers and reduce pollution all while improving their bottom line.”
What he didn’t mention was the ongoing battle at Rio Tinto Alcan over a provincial permit that allowed the company to increase sulphur dioxide pollution by more than 50 per cent, or the union representing 800 workers at the smelter that appealed that permit, saying the increase in pollution was a direct threat to their health.
Exposure to sulphur dioxide aggravates the respiratory systems of asthmatics and is known to negatively affect the respiratory systems of children and the elderly.