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Fredericton chapter at public meeting to oppose Sisson mine and Schedule 2 provision that allows mine waste to be dumped into freshwater

The Council of Canadians Fredericton chapter was at a public consultation held by Environment Canada last night to express their opposition to the Sisson mine that was approved by the Trudeau government in June 2017.

The Sisson open-pit tungsten and molybdenum mine would be built at the headwaters of the Nashwaak River on Maliseet territory about 100 kilometres north of Fredericton. The mine would also include an unlined tailings pond and an ore processing plant. Molybdenum is used for warplanes and industrial motors.

CBC reports, “Close to 250 people crowded into the Upper Nashwaak Lions Club in Cross Creek to hear what the company [Northcliff Resources Ltd] behind the Sisson mine project had to say about its dispose of waste water into fish-bearing brooks and compensate for the loss of fish habitat.”

Our long time ally the Conservation Council of New Brunswick (CCNB) says this project would have a significant impact on Bird Brook, West Branch Napadogan Brook, Sisson Brook and McBean Brook.

The Council of Canadians has long opposed the Schedule 2 provision in the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations that allows fresh water bodies to be redefined as ‘tailings impoundment areas’ and for toxic mine waste to be dumped into them.

The Fredericton chapter has also worked in solidarity with the Wolastoq Mothers and Grandmothers who are exercising their inherent rights by establishing a land defence camp on the site of the proposed mine. In July 2017, the chapter delivered supplies to the camp, in November they helped build a permanent structure there, and this past December they facilitated the purchase of a generator (that was delivered by Council of Canadians organizers Angela Giles and Robin Tress).

Today’s CBC report notes, “As for the timeline of the project, Greg Davidson of the Sisson Partnership, said the company is working through a regulatory process that includes consultation. Davidson said there is a misconception that construction will start this spring, which isn’t true. It could be up to 18 months before the project gets all the permits. The public has 30 days to submit comments and concerns to government as part of the process.”

The Council of Canadians calls on the Trudeau government to reject the requested Schedule 2 exemption for the mine.

Furthermore, we are concerned that the Trudeau government’s recently proposed Bill C-68, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act and other Acts in consequence, still allows for this provision. We believe it should be rescinded.