Not trying to destroy culture: Taseko

Taseko’s senior vice-president of operations Jim McManus said Thursday he’d be fearful of the project if he believed a lot of what he heard.

Reacting to criticisms presented throughout the first four days of the New Prosperity Mine federal review panel, Taseko’s senior vice-president of operations Jim McManus said Thursday he’d be fearful of the project if he believed a lot of what he heard.

“I heard a lot of fear about aspects of the project and effects of the project and anger and frustration about bringing such a project forward,” McManus said.

“A short mine life, a marginal operation, toxins, poisons, cultural genocide, massive destruction and temporary foreign workers were some of the things we heard,” McManus recalled.

“We heard 90,000 hectare footprint of the mine site, when the footprint is actually 2,000 hectares, that’s the disturbed area, 90,000 hectares is the entire Fish Creek watershed,” McManus said.

Taseko has no intention of using temporary foreign workers and has 1,400 active resumes on file, he added.

While it’s true that old mines closed and left taxpayers on the hook for the cleanup, the Mine’s Act in B.C.’s article 10.4  gives the province the legal authority and obliges companies to put sufficient reclamation and closure bonding in place in the event of premature closure, McManus said.

“Throughout my career and working with Taseko I’ve worked to improve the standards as much as my own performance in the industry as a whole, so listening to some of this has been quite difficult.”

McManus said the consultation he has worked on with the Tsilhqot’in National Government and with Xeni Gwet’in was not “lip service.”

“The letter of intent agreement that was drawn up between Chief Roger William, myself, and Chief Joe Alphonse, was worked on,” McManus recalled.

“All the chiefs at the time signed off on it.”

Recently the company evaluated itself in its community engagement and consultation efforts and gave itself a “B,” which McManus said means the company has a long way to go and will work towards that goal.

McManus said Taseko never heard the term “cultural genocide” until about 2008.

“Working with other chiefs at the time it was all about the lake and protecting the rivers,” McManus said.

“We’ve done everything we can to achieve that and we’ve put together a plan to save the lake.”

There’s no intention to destroy the “sacred” aspect of the area, McManus added.

“We run the Gibraltar Mine down the road here and I don’t know how that’s destroying a culture, that’s way bigger than anything I’ve got in my ability.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A string made of deer hide was cut by Tl’etinqox elder Melanie Bobby (centre) to mark the grand opening of Chilcotin River Trading Wednesday, March 3. (Chilcotin River Trading Facebook photo)
New gas bar opens in the Chilcotin at Tl’etinqox

Chilcotin River Trading opens its doors

Cariboo Memorial Hospital emergency doctor Sarah Dressler comes off a night shift on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Our Hometown: The doctor is in the house

Cariboo Memorial Hospital emergency doctor Sarah Dressler was born and raised in Williams Lake

The Williams Lake Trail Riders Arena is slated to have a new roof installed this spring after funding from the province’s Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Trail Riders Arena, stable stalls, to get new roof at Stampede Grounds

Some of the stalls currently aren’t able to be rented out due to leaks in the roof

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

A sign is seen this past summer outside Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Yunesit’in First Nation completes second round of vaccinations

A total of 26 people have since recovered from COVID-19 after having tested positive

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

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

B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

Some Canadians are finding butter harder than usual, resulting in an avalanche of social media controversy around #buttergate. (Brett Williams/The Observer)
#Buttergate: Concerns around hard butter hit small B.C. towns and beyond

Canadians find their butter was getting harder, blame palm oil in part one of this series

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends deadline for tourism, small business COVID-19 grants

Business owners expect months more of lost revenues

Anti-pipeline protests continue in Greater Vancouver, with the latest happening Thursday, March 4 at a Trans Mountain construction site in Burnaby. (Facebook/Laurel Dykstra)
A dozen faith-based protestors blockade Burnaby Trans Mountain site in prayer

The group arrived early Thursday, planning to ‘block any further work’

Mid day at the Vancouver Port Intersection blockade on March 3, organized by the Braided Warriors. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
Anti-pipeline blockade at Vancouver intersection broken up by police

Demonstraters were demanding the release of a fellow anti-TMX protester

(Government of B.C.)
Backcountry skiers are dwarfed by the mountains as they make their way along a mountain ridge near McGillivray Pass Lodge located in the southern Chilcotin Mountains of British Columbia, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012. Avalanche Canada has issued a special warning to people who use the backcountry in the mountains of western Alberta and eastern British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Avalanche Canada special warning for mountains in western Alberta, eastern B.C.

Avalanche Canada also says everyone in a backcountry party needs essential rescue gear

Most Read