Chamber president reacts to call for mine impact and benefit proposal

Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce president Jason Ryll. - Monica Lamb-Yorski photo
Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce president Jason Ryll.
— image credit: Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Recent comments made by Chief Joe Alphonse to media don’t sit well with Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce president Jason Ryll.

This week Alphonse told media the Tsilhqot’in National Government is increasing pressure, insisting Gibraltar Mines sign an impact and benefit agreement with ?Esdilagh (Alexandria) Band and suggested another company should take over the mine that is willing to work with First Nations.

“His recommendation that Taseko employees find a new employer to run Gibraltar Mine demonstrates to me a lack of understanding of how businesses work,” Ryll said.

“Employees don’t have that prerogative to say they don’t want a company as the owner and are going to find another one.”

Ryll also took exception to Alphonse saying the Tsilhqot’in National Government want to work with any other company besides Taseko Mines Ltd. to mine their resources.

Ryll said it is a clear admission that the TNG’s recent objections to the New Prosperity Mine had nothing to do with environmental concerns, spiritual sensitivities or cultural values.

“Now they want to work with a mining company that wants to cut a deal? That really just means they are after money and that’s incredibly disappointing.”

Alphonse said the TNG wouldn’t be afraid to go the extreme of interrupting work at the mine if it has to get the company’s attention, however, Ryll said such statements are incredibly inflammatory and cannot be tolerated.

Alphonse told the Tribune the TNG are merely trying to put pressure on and are in a very early stage of being involved in supporting ?Esdilagh.


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