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Taseko letter shows Harper government support for mine at Fish Lake

The Canadian Press reports that Taseko Mines – the company behind the proposed ‘New Prosperity’ mine at Fish Lake – met with federal Natural Resources minister Joe Oliver on Monday January 23, 2012 in Vancouver. After the meeting, John McManus, the company’s senior vice-president of operations, wrote to Oliver, “I believe that yourself and the government of Canada are showing great leadership by taking an unapologetic approach to the responsible development of this country’s natural resources. …As I said at the meeting on Monday, we applaud your courage in calling it the way you see it and in moving strongly not just to get the job done well, but also to get the job done period.”

In response, Chief Joe Alphonse, tribal chairman of the Tsilhqot’in National Government, says a court challenge is already in the works. “We have a majority Conservative government that is more concerned about revenue than anything else. …When you have corrupt government and companies that feel like they own the process, and we as First Nations are nothing but a hindrance, the courts are there to protect us.”

The Vancouver Sun has described the plan for the New Prosperity mine as follows: “Waste rock and dirt will now be trucked and stored north of Fish Lake. A tailings pond, which will store potentially acid-producing mill waste, will be moved upstream two kilometres from Fish Lake. The new plan will alter the watershed’s natural drainage. The tailings pond will limit water flow into Fish Lake, and the outflow of the lake will be cut off by the open mine pit downstream.”

Key dates to keep in mind:

July 22 – public hearings on the mine begin

August 23 – the public hearings conclude

October – the federal review panel will submit their recommendation to the Harper government

March 2014 – the Harper government is expected to decide about the mine

The full article is at For Council of Canadians blogs critical of the proposed mine at Fish Lake, please see