Bottom two per cent not a place to be

Re: Comments from Brian Battison in the Williams Lake Tribune, June 4: “Comments from leadership shocking.”


Re: Comments from Brian Battison in the Williams Lake Tribune, June 4: “Comments from leadership shocking.”

As CEO of the BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council I feel it is important to respond to the June 4, 2014 comments by Brian Battison, Vice President of Taseko Mines Ltd.

I first knew of Brian Battison 10 years ago when he was the interim president of the Mining Association of BC, the lobby organization that advocates for mining companies.

At that time he was advocating for the Kemess North mining proposal and opposing the First Nations concerns with regard to Amazay Lake. It seemed to me that Mr. Battison simply could not understand why First Nations would not negotiate an agreement in exchange for turning that fish-bearing lake into a tailings pond.

The First Nations from Kwadacha, Takla and Tsay Keh Dene stated they were not opposed to development but in order for the project to proceed the company had to find an alternative to killing the lake. The federal government rejected Kemess North as proposed at that time.

Ten years later that company and those three First Nations have now signed an interim agreement to consider pursuing underground mining of the deposit thus creating less tailings and not requiring a new impoundment area and preserving the pristine nature of Amazay Lake.

Mining agreements for new and existing projects are a standard practice across Canada between industry and First Nations.

I hope that Taseko will instead support the vision of Chief Joe Alphonse and others who are opposed to projects with unacceptable cultural and environmental impacts while at the same time reaching out to governments and industry to achieve revenue and profit sharing agreements where mine proposals are acceptable to the First Nation.

The Tsilhqot’in Nation has firmly opposed the New Prosperity mine because of its unacceptable cultural impacts and the decision of the federal government to reject that project — twice — must be respected.

At the same time, the request by the Tsilhqot’in Nation for the company to negotiate an impact benefit agreement for the Gibraltar Mine is entirely reasonable and a standard practice for business today. My experience is that 98 per cent of companies are prepared to negotiate agreements with First Nations. How long will Mr. Battison insist on being in the bottom two per cent?

Dave Porter

CEO, BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council

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

Just Posted

Mayor Walt Cobb waves from atop a tractor as he turns onto Oliver Street in the Daybreak Rotary’s annual Stampede Parade. Patrick Davies photo.
Lack of funding, volunteers has Daybreak Rotary bowing out of Williams Lake Stampede parade

Club learned this week it won’t be receiving local government funding, for the second year in a row

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)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

Williams Lake’s Brock Hoyer films a segment of the newly-released The Way Home in the city of Revelstoke. (Ryen Dunford photo)
Brock Hoyer stars in new snowbike film: The Way Home

The film is completely free and was released on YouTube on Jan. 22, 2021

The body of Kenneth Seymour Michell was discovered Jan. 14, 2021, behind a Williams Lake business a day after he was released by a judge on conditions. (Photo submitted)
Family looks for answers after Indigenous man dies by suicide following release from custody

System does not care about Indigenous peoples, says First Nations Leadership Council

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

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

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read