New Prosperity Mine review meets opposition

The decision to review a revised Prosperity Mine project is a first for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

The decision to review a revised Prosperity Mine project is a first for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

Although the agency has never received a revised project, Annie Roy, communications manager for CEAA, said the Prosperity proposal is considered a new project because it is “another option.”

However, Tsilqot’in National Government tribal chair Chief Joe Alphonse has taken no pleasure in any distinction.

Alphonse called the CEAA’s decision to proceed with a panel review – as it did with the previous proposal – “mindboggling.”

He noted it was within Taseko’s rights to reapply, but said the government’s acceptance of the proposal for review is not something a “credible government” would do.

Alphonse said there should not be a panel review but that First Nations will participate in the process.

“As distasteful as that is for us  that’s one of the only options we are subject to,” he said.

“I think there’s a lot of frustration within our communities right now. We have to continue to do what’s best for our nation and that’s protect our interests.”

In a prepared release, Russell Hallbauer, Taseko president and CEO, said of the decision, “While we need to develop a better understanding of the specifics of the panel review, the timeline evidences a significant commitment by CEAA to work effectively with us in this process.

“It is our sincere desire that New Prosperity moves through the panel review process in this time frame and that the benefits of the project begin to be realized by the country, the province, the local communities and aboriginals in the coming years.”

In an interview conducted earlier this month, a Taseko representative indicated there was an expectation the CEAA would proceed with a comprehensive study.

Roy said a review panel was chosen by the federal Minister of Environment on the basis that the project could create “significant environmental effects.”

The timeline for the review is 12 months. The release issued by the CEAA indicated the review would utilize information obtained during the previous environmental assessment “to the extent possible to ensure a timely decision.

Roy said the federal and provincial assessment processes will occur separately.

B.C.’s Environment Minister Terry Lake said Taseko is applying for an amendment to its current environment certificate that was issued by the British Columbia Environmental Assessment office last year.

Lake said although the provincial and federal assessment processes are separate he wanted to ensure some coordination.

He added it would be helpful if the two processes finish their work at the same time.  Under the provincial environmental assessment model, Lake explained it is common for projects that submitted changes after receiving an environmental certificate to proceed with an amendment.

“They have an EA so as far as the provincial decision making was concerned they had that process. Now they have to apply for an amendment to it to reflect the differences between the certificate that was issued and the proposed plan.”

Lake said a decision regarding the provincial environmental assessment will be made by himself or the executive director of the B.C. Environmental Assessment office.

 

To date, the First Nations Summit, the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Committee have come out in opposition of the review.

 

 

Just Posted

Sugar Cane Archaeology archaeologists Tina Herd, left, and Whitney Spearing, title and rights manager for Williams Lake First Nation. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Archaeological assessments underway at Cariboo Memorial Hospital expansion site

Sugar Cane Archaeology testing green space and corner of parking lot

Williams Lake river valley June 2021. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
VIDEO: Williams Lake river valley 2020 flood repairs continue

The Tribune toured the area on June 10, 2021

An RCMP cruiser. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Off-duty officer intervenes following road rage incident

Two men involved in verbal altercation outside Mile 108 Elementary

The community is rallying to support Cam Prest (top left) and his family after he was badly injured at the Biotanio Bike Park Friday night, June 11. (Photo submitted)
Community rallies around Williams Lake family after son, 19, injured in bike park crash

Cam Prest was biking with friends Friday night when the accident happened

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Most Read