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‘Prosperity’ and jobs for Fish Lake?

Columnist Walt Cobb wrote in the Williams Lake Tribune last week that, “I have heard the Council of Canadians, the Sierra Club, and MiningWatch from Ontario have funded and possibly accompanied the First Nations groups to travel to Ottawa to make their case for preventing the Prosperity mine from going forward.”

Cobb added, “The hearings are coming up and those of us who need work had better be prepared to take a little time from work to ensure there is ‘work’ in the future.”

Jerry West, the publisher and editor of The Record newspaper in the Nootka Sound region, counters Cobb’s argument by writing, “He should stop dragging up the jobs boogeyman to try and scare people into acting against their own best long term interests. What he is arguing for in reality is a few quick bucks now, and disaster for future generations. In effect, he is telling people to come out and support harming their descendants. …The real fly in the ointment is that the (Taseko) proposal calls for turning Fish Lake into a tailings pond, effectively killing it in exchange for about twenty years of mining activity.”

Additionally, the Williams Lake Tribune reports that Brian Battison, a vice-president for Taseko Mines Ltd, answering questions yesterday at a public meeting about the ‘Prosperity Mine’, “said some people would need to be hired from outside of Williams Lake, since metallurgists and engineers may not reside in Williams Lake. Other jobs, however, would be available for people in Williams Lake and area, he said. He noted that a 500-person work camp, similar to that of a hotel, would be created and would include other needed jobs such as cooks and janitors, for example.”

The Tsilhqot’in National Government website notes that, “The Tsilhqot’in welcome and encourage economic development ventures as long as they can be shown to be environmentally and culturally sustainable and bring benefits to the communities they affect.”

The William Lake Tribune article is at http://www.bclocalnews.com/news/85144797.html. Jerry West’s comments are in the Salem News at http://www.salem-news.com/articles/february232010/outdated_thinking_jw.php. We noted Cobb’s comments and the upcoming public hearings in a campaign blog at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=2932.