Do your homework

The Vancouver Sun and Province plan to lay off staff because the two newspapers are no longer economically sustainable.

The Vancouver Sun and Province plan to lay off staff because the two newspapers are no longer economically sustainable. Maybe people aren’t buying the papers because there isn’t enough worthwhile stuff to read.

A story by Gordon Hamilton in the April 10 Sun is a case in point.

In a piece headlined “BC Miners, First Nations learn to get along”  Mr. Hamilton gave examples of where they get along and where they don’t.

He gave the New Prosperity Mine proposal as an example of where they don’t.

He wrote “the process has caused deep divisions between First Nations and the predominately white community of Williams Lake which generally supports the project.”

Baloney. I’m not saying there is no division, I’m saying Mr. Hamilton didn’t do his homework.

As a long-time “white” resident of Williams Lake, I personally know of four “predominately white” groups and a goodly number of “white”  individuals in the area who believe the reasons given by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s panel for rejecting the first proposal still apply.

There are a number of “sides” to this issue.

Along with the First Nations concerns there are the adverse environmental impacts of building a huge mine in an ecologically sensitive watershed, as well as significant social and economic issues that need to be addressed.

Perhaps if Taseko spokesperson Brian Battison, the Chamber of Commerce, and Mayor Kerry Cook had deigned to accept the invitation from the impartial Thompson Rivers University (Williams Lake campus) to participate in a public panel discussion with representatives from the Tsilhqot’in and two “white” groups (Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society and Williams Lake Council of Canadians), the divisions wouldn’t be so “deep.” Such a discussion would have everything on the table, instead of the “they say, we say” situation we have now. Whatever.

Sometimes families and communities often have disagreements, but we don’t need ill-informed outside media adding fuel to the fire.

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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