TNG wins injunction against Taseko

Tsilhqot'in National Government officials are celebrating in Williams Lake after a B.C. Supreme Court decision has ruled in their favour.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Christopher Grauer has granted a 90-day injunction stopping Taseko Mines Ltd. from carrying out any further exploratory work for the New Prosperity mine, pending the outcome of a judicial review of work permits that were issued to the company.

Speaking in Williams Lake after hearing about the decision, Tsi Del Del Chief Percy Guichon said the B.C. government will now have to sit down with the Tsilhqot’in and work out a better consultation process regarding any exploration activities Taseko will undertake.

“We’ll be a part of the process, whether it’s the minimum required exploration work that will have to be done through the environmental assessment process. We’ll be fully involved with that process.”

The Tsilhqot’in National Government alleges that Crown officials breached their duties to consult and accommodate the Tsilhqot’in in regards to the government granting exploration and drilling approvals, and sought an injunction to stop Taseko from doing any work until after a judicial review is heard.

Taskeo had also filed an injunction — against individuals alleged to have impeded work at the mine site and sought an order to restrain them and others from unlawfully interfering with the company’s test pitting and drilling work that was approved by the B.C. government in September.

A media spokesperson for the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Resources stated Monday “the adequacy of the First Nations consultation on the Mines Act authorization was not considered by the court — that is a matter for the upcoming judicial review,” and said the court registry has been asked to schedule a hearing as soon as possible.

Tsilhqot’in tribal chair Joe Alphonse said the ruling will set the tone for industry and the provincial government when dealing with First Nations.

“We have already soundly defeated this mine proposal once, and the option now being pursued has already been declared worse than the original plan. We are frustrated to be faced with an Environmental Assessment again but we need to be adequately engaged to assist with the determination of what is exactly necessary with the least amount of disturbance for this process,” Alphonse said.

Taseko vice president of corporate affairs Brian Battison said Friday afternoon the ruling wasn’t entirely unexpected.

“Matters of reconciliation and consultation can at times be complicated. And because of that, the delays that may be associated with that are the cost of doing business in British Columbia. The judge talked about that. No one likes delay, but we hope the Crown and the First Nations will sit down and address the consultation matters,” he said.

Once the outcome is determined, Battison hopes Taseko can pursue the exploratory work.

Battison also said the conduct of the individuals obstructing Taseko was ruled illegal and the company has been awarded costs payable immediately.

However, he also insisted when there’s matters of difference of opinion, it’s important that the parties involved communicate and sit down with each other to resolve them.

“This project is too important for the Cariboo, the communities of the Cariboo, and for First Nations — everyone — not to do their best work.”

A written statement from Justice Christopher Grauer is expected to be issued some time later this week.












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

Just Posted

The RCMP arrest one of the suspects on Highway 97 courtesy of cell phone footage shot by a bystander. (April Thomas photo)
WATCH: Two suspects arrested after multi-jurisdictional chase

A half dozen police cars were seen heading north on Highway 97

Commercial tenants at the Williams Lake Regional Airport have been granted an additional six-month rent reprieve. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Continuing rent relief for Williams Lake Airport tenants considered

City council discussed the option during a committee of the whole meeting

The Grade 2 class of 150 Mile House Elementary attended Cariboo Memorial Hospital with teacher Kirsty Bowers to deliver “kindness” bags full of small gifts to housekeeping staff. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
150 Mile House students deliver gift bags showing appreciation for hospital staff

Students begin Monday morning with a bus trip to Cariboo Memorial Hospital

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports 16 new COVID-19 cases

423 cases remain active in the region

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

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Kamloops This Week
Cause of Kamloops landfill fire may never be known

Fire investigators are dealing with too much destruction in too large an area

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

Most Read