Tsilhqot’in leaders protest outside Taseko’s AGM

First Nations leaders protest outside of Taseko Mine's Ltd's AGM in Vancouver.

Tlet’inqox Chief Joe Alphonse, along with other First Nations leaders from B.C. and leaders from South America, protested outside of Taseko Mines Ltd.’s AGM held Friday in Vancouver.

“There were supporters from various groups. There were about 50 or 60 people, which was better than what we could have expected,” Alphonse says, explaining that he was one of several speakers at the event.

We wanted to show and demonstrate that there is opposition to the development of the New Prosperity mine. We wanted to be consistent with our message. If we let up then Taseko will say there’s no protest and that the Tsilhqot’in are in support of the development.”

There was extra security personnel outside and Alphonse says Taseko was not willing to meet with the media.

For Alphonse the support and media coverage of the protest was more than he could have hoped for.

“We were supposed to be there for two hours, but when all was said and done I think we were there for three and a half hours.”

Inside, Taseko’s AGM was actually completed in seven minutes, vice president of corporate affairs Brian Battison says.

“It’s a regulatory requirement. The formal part of the meeting involves the appointment of auditors, re-appointment of board members, procedural things. The formal part was over in a very short period of time.”

It’s not the first time there’s been a protest outside the AGM, Battison recalls.

“There was one a couple of years before. I don’t think there was one last year, but it was the same situation and the same concerns as the last one.”

Battison adds there were no comments made about the protest inside at the meeting.