Council of Canadians condemns decision to restart Prosperity Mine approval process

Media Release
November 8, 2011

The Council of Canadians is expressing its firm opposition to the federal government’s reopening of a rejected proposal for the Prosperity Mine in British Columbia, arguing the move violates the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the UN-recognized right to water.

“The Council of Canadians stands with the Tsilhqot'in National Government in rejecting this proposal,” says Council of Canadians national chairperson Maude Barlow. “We demand that the federal government respect the right to free, prior and informed consent of the Tsilhqot’in people.”

The Council of Canadians notes that even Taseko, the company that is proposing the mine, is on record as having stated that this ‘new’ option to dispose of the mine’s toxic tailings is worse than the plan that was rejected by the federal review panel. A new panel would therefore also be a waste of public funds.

“In allowing this to proceed, the federal government is making a farce of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency process,” says Council of Canadians water campaigner Meera Karunananthan. “A panel appointed by the Harper government has no legitimacy and demonstrates that processes are being manipulated to support industry at the expense of human rights, the well-being of communities and the environment.”

“We strongly oppose the work toward the mine that was authorized by the BC government even prior to the federal announcement,” adds Karunananthan. “For Taseko to use its influence to push this unwanted mine through demonstrates its disdain for democratic processes.”