Today, World Water Day, the Council of Canadians is holding actions in British Columbia and Newfoundland in opposition to the federal ‘Schedule 2’ exemption that allows freshwater lakes to be destroyed by mining companies.
Our media release states, “At a press conference this morning the newly formed Sandy Pond Alliance to Protect Canadian Waters is announcing its intention to launch a legal challenge against a loophole in the Fisheries Act that is allowing Vale Inco to use Sandy Pond, a lake near Long Harbour, as a dumpsite for toxic waste generated by their operations. Members of the Sandy Pond Alliance include Natural History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, Mining Watch Canada, The Council of Canadians, Sierra Club of Canada and a growing number of residents of the province who are concerned with the immanent destruction of Sandy Pond.” That’s at http://canadians.org/media/water/2010/22-Mar-10.html.
VOCM in Newfoundland reports that, “A newly formed group of concerned citizens is launching an effort to prevent Sandy Pond near Long Harbour from being used as a tailings collection site for the nickel processing plant. The Sandy Pond Alliance today announced they are going to take legal action against what they term a loophole in the Fisheries Act that allows Vale Inco to use Sandy Pond as a tailings site. The company has both federal and provincial approval. The Alliance’s Fred Windsor, says it’s a destruction of the watershed at a time the earth’s resources are diminishing. The group has sent letters to Long Harbour and Mt. Arlington Heights residents expressing their concerns. The Alliance says more information will come next week. The Sandy Pond Alliance includes the Natural History Society, Mining Watch Canada, the Council of Canadians, the Sierra Club and Sandy Pond area residents.” That’s at http://www.vocm.com/newsarticle.asp?mn=2&id=5094&latest=1.
The Charter (based in Placentia, Newfoundland) reports, “‘Disposal of mining waste is a challenge to any large industrial project, but to destroy a lake is not a solution,’ said Ken Kavanagh of the St. John’s chapter of the Council of Canadians and Sandy Pond Alliance member, in the press release. ‘Residents of Long Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Canada, deserve better and the government must be challenged to reverse Schedule 2 and demand that Vale Inco develop another alternative to using Sandy Pond as its waste management option.’” That’s at http://www.thecharter.ca/index.cfm?sid=333590&sc=312.
The media conference was also covered by the CBC-TV noon-hour news and noted on Bill Rowe’s popular radio program Talk-Back.
You can read more about Sandy Pond on our website at http://canadians.org/water/issues/TIAs/sandy-pond.html.
TEZTAN BINY (FISH LAKE)
Our media release notes, “A rally will be held in Williams Lake today – World Water Day – at the public hearings of a Federal panel reviewing a proposal by Vancouver-based Taseko Mines Limited for a large open pit gold-copper mine called Prosperity Mine. Several organizations including the Council of Canadians, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Wilderness Committee, the Friends of the Nemaiah Valley will join the Tsilhqot’in National Government to demand that Taseko’s application to destroy Teztan Biny (also known as Fish Lake) in order to stockpile rock waste.” This media release is posted at http://canadians.org/media/water/2010/22-Mar-10-3.html.
The Williams Lake Tribune reports this afternoon that the room for the federal panel hearing is packed with about 300 people present. That’s at http://www.bclocalnews.com/breaking_news/88836827.html. Council of Canadians water campaigner Meera Karunananthan and BC-Yukon organizer Harjap Grewal are scheduled to present to the federal panel around 8:30 pm PT. The Williams Lake chapter of the Council of Canadians will be presenting earlier in the day.
You can read more about Teztan Biny – including our written submission to the federal panel – at http://canadians.org/water/issues/TIAs/teztan-biny.html.
WORLD WATER DAY
You can also read more on how the Council of Canadians has marked World Water Day by going to the rabble.ca blog by Director of Organizing Carleen Pickard and Meera Karunananthan at http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/mvk/2010/03/council-canadians-celebrates-world-water-day-coast-coast. For a listing of more than 40 World Water Day actions across the country, go to http://canadians.org/water/issues/World_Water_Day/actions.html.