City council should attend mine forum

I hope Mayor Kerry Cook and members of her council will be among those at the forum hosted by the TNG this Thursday.

I hope Mayor Kerry Cook and members of her council will be among those at the public forum hosted by the Tsilhqot’in National Government this Thursday.

The TNG will be addressing Taseko’s second proposal for the Prosperity mine.

The presentation will be followed by a discussion period. Some political leaders jumped on the rah rah wagon for this recent plan before they even saw it.

Premier Christy Clark wanted Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reconsider the rejected plan. During the recent civic election campaign, a few candidates, including the mayor, said working with the neighbouring First Nations communities is a priority. However, Surinderpal Rathor was the only member of council to go to a meeting to hear what Amnesty International had to say on the issue of First Nations’ rights.  As well as the environmental and social concerns over the proposed mine, there are legal issues.

Clark learned about that last week when Justice Christopher Grauer ruled her government erred in giving Taseko permits for exploration work without consulting the TNG beforehand. Thursday’s forum will be an opportunity for people to find out what that is all about.

Some fear that getting the different “sides” of this issue together could cause some unpleasantness. I can’t believe that.  Surely Cariboo citizens are mature enough to listen to each other in a respectful manner.

***

NDP MLA Jagrup Brar is going to try to live on a $610 for a month. That’s the monthly welfare allowance for a single employable person. Mr. Brar isn’t the first to call attention to the rates.

NDP MLA Emery Barnes did the same thing  20 some years ago. The former professional football player was not only shaken at the end of the experience, he lost 6.8 kilograms.

Good luck to Mr. Brar, but maybe some people from the Liberal caucus should try it too. Or a few senior bureaucrats?

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

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