The final day of federal review panel topic-specific hearings in Williams Lake closed with the usual First Nations closing ceremony.

The final day of federal review panel topic-specific hearings in Williams Lake closed with the usual First Nations closing ceremony.

Panel requested to summon Taseko’s boss to attend community hearings

First Nations elder requests Taseko's boss attend community hearings in First Nations communities.

Before the closing of the topic-specific session at the federal review panel hearings for the New Prosperity Mine Thursday, Tsilhqot’in National Congress member Fanny Stump asked the panel to summon the board chair of Taseko Mines Ltd. to attend the community hearings taking place in First Nations communities.

“Issues have arisen through these hearings that require the presence of the ultimate mandate and authority person from Taseko Mines Ltd. to clarify and commit to,” Stump said.

“We hereby request that the panel chair direct and if necessary summon the chairman of the board of Taseko Mines to be present and accountable when the panel hearing sessions move to Tsilhqot’in Tribe Dene Indian Bands next week.”

Her request was addressed in section 2.5 of the public hearings procedures, Stump told the panel.

Taseko’s legal counsel Karl Gustafson said Taseko will have to take the request away and find out if there is any chance, logistically and otherwise, whether the chair would be available to attend on short notice.

Seeking clarity, Gustafson also asked if the chair was going to be subjected to a cross-examination and grilling, or otherwise.

“I’m a biological mother and he is a parent company,” Stump responded.

Gustafson said Taseko would consider the request.

Panel chair Bill Ross said the panel would deal with her request when the hearings resume Tuesday, Aug. 6  in Xeni Gwet’in at the community band hall.

The community hearings will run in Xeni Gwet’in Aug. 6-8.

On Friday, Aug.   9 the panel will participate in a site tour of Fish Lake and the proposed mine area.