The “toxic orphans” of the mining industry have indeed come of age. They are a serious and immediate danger to human health and the environment. They are already costing taxpayers millions of dollars in clean-up, cancers, lost fishery, forestry and farm income, and they stand to cost billions more. They are a public relations nightmare for the mining industry. In 1995, the Auditor-General made it clear that the enormous liability they –and other contaminated sites– represent should be shown on the public accounts. We hope this action plan helps the federal government in dealing with its enormous responsibility.