I am publicly writing the Williams Lake City Council with the expectation of receiving a thoughtful response. As you know, the Tsilhqot’in leadership asked City Council to reconsider its conditional support? for the New Prosperity Mine. We were granted the opportunity to speak informally in November and as a delegation in December, which included speakers Chief Joe Alphonse, Chief Marilyn Baptiste and UBCIC Grand Chief Stewart Phillip. In addition, an official letter was also written to City Council. Yet, we are left waiting for the courtesy of a response.
Instead, without any further discussion, we understand Williams Lake City Council has now applied, after the deadline, to participate in the federal panel review as an interested party. This seems to move beyond even conditional support for the project; conditional support presumes a certain kind of neutrality until after the panel members have concluded their report. By requesting to speak at the panel hearings, City Council is now actively supporting the project and stating a position. On these grounds, be honest to your Tsilhqot?in neighbours and the citizens you serve: please state your position and present your arguments.
Treat us with a level of respect. As such, consult with us in good faith, as council members implied would happen in the future. Second, provide a response to the letter issued in December. Third, if City Council has chosen to disregard the position of neutrality, justify your position before the panel hearings so your citizens are informed. We ask that you consider the grave concerns the Tsilhqot?in have expressed and reflect on Joan Kuyek’s latest article Pitfalls or Promises: A risk analysis of the economics of the TML Mine proposal, which relevantly highlights the cost to the public.
Be honest. Do not waste our time again or ignore us or give us a half-hearted response. Stop playing with our lives. You have a duty now to be honest with everyone.
Russell Myers Ross
Yunesit?in Nits?il?in (chief)