The long-anticipated Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s panel hearings for the proposed New Prosperity Mine begin on Monday July 22 in Williams Lake.
Pencils are being sharpened as individuals and groups prepare to make presentations explaining why the project should or should not go ahead.
It’s no secret there will be different camps setting up tents during the hearings, while some people are banking on attending the hearings to make decisions of their own.
Two community events are planned for 11 a.m. before the opening session — drumming and singing in Boitanio Park with First Nations leaders and a Chamber of Commerce community barbecue in the parking lot behind the complex.
The hearings will go until Aug. 23, with sessions scheduled for Williams Lake, Xeni Gwet’in, Tsi Del Del, Yunesit’in, ?Esdilagh, Tl’esqox, Tl’etinqox-t’in, Dog Creek, Canoe Creek and Alkali Lake.
There will also be panel site visits to Fish Lake on Friday, Aug. 9 and Canoe Creek and Little Dog Creek on Aug. 21.
A final remarks session is scheduled for Aug. 23 at CJ’s Southwestern Grill on Highway 97 in Williams Lake.
Sessions have been broken up into general, topic-specific and community hearings.
Topic-specific sessions will focus on geology, hydro geology, aquatic, terrestrial and human environments.
Taseko Mines Ltd. will make its presentation on geology and hydro geology on Thursday, July 25 at 7 p.m.
The panel said it will try to accommodate all participants wishing to make an oral presentation but priority will be given to people who have registered in advance, with the greatest priority given to Interested Parties.
A daily agenda outlining the schedule of presentations will be provided at the end of this week. The Tribune encourages everyone to take in the hearings and or make a submission if they feel inspired.
The panel has also said people can submit thoughts in writing up until Aug. 23 as well.
For the next few weeks residents of the Cariboo-Chilcotin can have their say. After the hearings are completed, the panel will return to Ottawa and prepare a final report.