The Environment News Service reports that, “British Columbia’s native people are looking warily upon Premier-designate Christy Clark, who supports the revival of a gold-copper mine proposal in their territory.”
“In a statement on the campaign trail, Clark said that if she becomes premier, she would use her first meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to demand that his government reverse its November 2, 2010 decision to reject the mine near Williams Lake in central British Columbia. ‘At the political level, they see how dumb this decision is, so I think there’s an appetite to change it,’ said Clark on February 8. …The Tsilhqot’in National Government said earlier this month that Clark’s pledge as a leadership candidate to prioritize reviving Taseko Mines Ltd.’s Prosperity gold-copper mine project would plunge British Columbia into ‘a costly, wasteful, divisive and destructive battle.'”
CBC reported on February 22 that, “Owners of B.C.’s controversial Prosperity mine have launched a second attempt to get the $1-billion project approved. The gold and copper mine near Williams Lake was opposed by First Nations and ultimately failed an environmental assessment… On (February 21), Taseko Mines Ltd., of Vancouver, submitted a revised plan for the mine that addressed the major concern of both natives and officials — the proposed destruction of Fish Lake. …There is no timeline for environmental approval (from the Harper government), but Taseko said it hoped the environmental assessment would only have to review the aspects of the proposal that have changed.”
David Williams, president of the Friends of the Nemaiah Valley, has written that, “It is no surprise that the Tsilhqot’in National Government, and many others, too, continue to oppose the very idea of Prosperity mine, whether it destroys Teztan Biny or not. However such a mine were to be developed, the impacts on the local ecosystem and Tsihqot’in culture and society would be devastating. …The central fact that continues to elude government, the corporate sector, and especially the mainstream media, is that aboriginal rights and the sovereignty issue that underlies them must be recognized. …If the mine, indeed any resource extraction, were to proceed without prior consultation and accommodation, and we believe even permission, from the First Nation on whose lands the resources are situated, an illegal act will have occurred.”
The ENS news report is at http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/feb2011/2011-02-28-03.html.