A gathering in Vancouver Friday performed a flash mob to protest Taskeo Mines Ltd.’s New Prosperity Mine.

Tsilhqot’in and supporters protest New Prosperity Mine

Tsilhqot’in community members and supporters demonstrated Friday outside of Taseko Mines Ltd.’s Vancouver office.

Tsilhqot’in community members and supporters demonstrated Friday outside of Taseko Mines Ltd.’s Vancouver office with traditional and modern song and dance to protest the company’s  New Prosperity Mine.

“There are several of us gathered outside the Vancouver Art Gallery,” said Xeni Gwet’in (Nemiah) councillor Marilyn Baptiste Friday morning before the group proceeded to Taseko’s office. “Youth, elders, others.”

Plans for the demonstration have been in the works for a little while, Baptiste said.

“It’s come together very quickly and should be an exciting day.”

Deliberations over the mine proposal have become a national issue as a test of the federal government’s willingness to accept the advice of its own scientists as well as respecting the rights of indigenous communities opposed to the mine, Baptiste said.

On Thursday Energy and Mines minister Bill Bennett travelled to Ottawa to voice support for the mine.

Chief Joe Alphonse, Tribal Chair for the Tsilhqot’in National Government, described Bennett’s move as a desperate attempt.

“I was floored by the process they went through in Vancouver this week with the media blitz,” Alphonse said of the BC Chamber event held Tuesday, Dec. 10 in Vancouver.

“This is a prime example of how the environmental process doesn’t mean anything and how they can be manipulated by politicians. Taseko’s trying to push the project through politically and it’s disappointing.”

If the project is approved, Alphonse warned the TNG will go to court.

Speaking from Quebec Thursday, where he had presented at the Assembly of First Nations Meeting, Xeni Gwet’in Chief Roger William said he was also surprised that Bennett was going to Ottawa.

“For us this is the second independent panel report that went against the project and this time around was even stronger.”

William said he was surprised Bennett would promote the project because his own minister of environment hasn’t even looked at the project yet.

However, a ministry of environment spokesperson confirmed Taseko has also submitted an application to the BC Environmental Assessment Office for an amendment to the existing environmental assessment certificate and there are no legislated timelines for a decision on an amendment application.

“The ministry did provide input into the federal review and is participating in the EAO’s review of the application for an amendment to the existing provincial EA certificate,”  communications manager Kim Franklin said in an e-mail.

She confirmed the provincial amendment review process is underway and will make maximum use of the information generated by the federal panel process.

“Our intention is to avoid duplication of effort and to ensure that we are as efficient as possible in our amendment review process.”

Now that the federal panel report is released, the provincial environmental assessment office is conducting a review of the panel report to assess whether supplemental information is required to inform the amendment decision.

“The EAO may also review other relevant information provided to the panel,” Franklin noted. “The EAO  has sought input from provincial technical experts, the Tsilhqot’in National Government and Taseko  on the adequacy of the federal panel report for the purposes of the review of the proposed amendment and the need for additional information.”


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

Just Posted

SD27 students celebrate Pink Shirt Day across the Cariboo

Pink shirts were worn by teachers and students in multiple different schools

Good times had by all at annual Stampede Dinner, Dance and Auction

The event is held every year to raise funds for the Williams Lake Stampede

Blue Fins post personal bests, impress coaches at BC Age Group Championships

“It was a great weekend, the girls more than held their own against the best”

Boehm selected for 2020 junior world championship ski cross team

Boehm was announced Wednesday, Feb. 26 as one of 10 ski cross athletes named to the team

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

What’s happening: Coronavirus forges on, as world hunts solutions

Japan closes all elementary, middle and high schools until spring holidays in late March

RCMP to stop providing security for Prince Harry and Meghan

Public safety minister says RCMP has been helping UK police intermittently since November

RCMP, hereditary chiefs reach deal to end police patrols of Wet’suwet’en lands

Withdrawal opens door for talks today between hereditary chiefs, province and federal gov

Should you shave your beard to stop COVID-19? The U.S. CDC has a guide

Facial hair could be a big no-no if COVID-19 reaches pandemic status

First arrests made at BC Legislature after Wet’suwet’en supporters spray chalk on property

Legislature security arrested two people, allegedly for mischief

Canada’s 13th coronavirus case confirmed as husband of 12th patient

More than 81,000 cases of COVID-19 have occurred since the virus emerged in China

Shuswap boy wins hockey stick from NHL hero with rock, paper, scissors

Chase’s Payton Koch’s exchange with Minnesota Wild’s Kevin Fiala caught on camera

Surrey will replace its RCMP force with municipal police, province confirms

City of Surrey has been authorized to set up its own city police force

Most Read