The Canadian Press reports this afternoon that, “The Council of Canadians and MiningWatch Canada have joined calls on the federal cabinet to reject the (Prosperity Mine) project, saying it will destroy a pristine lake and contaminate nearby bodies of water.”
Our media release on this can be read in full at http://canadians.org/media/water/2010/03-Sep-10.html.
Unfortunately, the Canadian Press highlights in this article that, “A B.C. cabinet minister says he’s alarmed over threats of violence against a proposed gold and copper mine in central B.C. Randy Hawes, the minister state for mining, says he’s heard some First Nations members talking about using shotguns and giving their lives to prevent Taseko’s Prosperity Mine project.”
To be clear, at a media conference in Ottawa yesterday, Tsilhqot’in Nation Chief Marilyn Baptiste said, “Our people are willing and ready to defend our lands. As one of my elders had said when we were going through the panel hearings (in March) – she will be there on the road in her wheelchair. She will have her shotguns and she will not move. …We are willing to sacrifice our lives. I am willing to sacrifice my life for the sake of saving our lands and our future generations. Through the panel hearings, there were several people who made the same statement.”
But in May, Tsi Del Del Chief Percy Guichon of the Tsilhqot’in National Government said, “We will fearlessly carry on the proud legacy of our ancestors. The Tsilhqot’in will continue the fight to protect our land with whatever means necessary.” Guichon stressed that “whatever means necessary” does not include violence, but instead legal action, alliances with other First Nations and environmental groups, and pressure on the federal government. He says, “I think we have to exhaust those means before any other action is taken.” Guichon added, “If the process doesn’t work for you or legal means don’t work for you or other forms of persuasion (don’t work), what people usually resort to is roadblocks, but it’s too early to say. I’d like to take things a step at a time and stay positive. You’ve always got to keep your options open.”
Grand Chief Stewart Philip, president of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, said at that time that roadblocks to stop Taseko from building the mine are a possibility. He added, “If we get arrested, we get arrested. We will continue our opposition. The Tsilhqot’in people have said (the destruction of Teztan Biny) not going to happen. We can’t allow it to happen.”
Today, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow repeated her vow that, “We will stand shoulder to shoulder with the Tsilhqot’in to protect this lake.”
The Canadian Press report is at http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100903/bc_prosperity_mine_100903/20100903?hub=BritishColumbiaHome.
Our ‘ACTION ALERT: Tell Cabinet to protect Teztan Biny’ is at http://canadians.org/action/2010/TIA-Sept-3.html. The federal cabinet is expected to decide on the Prosperity mine and Fish Lake by Friday September 10. Be sure to send your message to cabinet through this action alert as soon as possible.