Twenty years ago the concept of this mine was first brought to everyone’s attention, starting with the development of the Cariboo land Use plan.
Mining in this part of the world has a rich history and is well documented.
There’s no question the development of this mine will change part of the landscape in the Chilcotin as most large scale developments ultimately do.
Highland Valley copper mine which has been operating for over 40 years forever changed the land scape but also generated thousands of jobs and billions in economic activity for the region and Province.
Rather than First Nation leaders and others fighting what could be inevitable, focus should be on taking full advantage of the many positive benefits that could be negotiated with Taseko to secure the best possible outcome for people of the area and region.
Employment opportunities are not limited to just working in the pit or processing mill but all the other skilled jobs needed to facilitate the environmental requirements attached to the project.
These positions require training and courses that could be started today to prepare people for these employment opportunities.
There are also all the support services and induced job opportunities this project can provide that open the door to many in the region that may fine more attractive and fit with their personal life and goals.
The mine will change a small portion of this vast area but the benefits to those that live in the region that strive for independents and financial security for their families has to play a major role in this process.
If Taseko can find $300 million to alter the plans to save Fish Lake and enhance environmental protection there are also funds to address training and local infrastructure and leave a legacy of skilled workers.
The foot print of this mine on the land is insignificant compared to the struggles of those wanting to provide for themselves their families while maintaining or regaining their dignity and self-respect.