Mine negotiations should be based on give and take

The investment that Taseko has in the greater Williams Lake area has once again been re-emphasized by Brian Battison.


Attending the New Prosperity road show, the investment that Taseko has in the greater Williams Lake area has once again been re-emphasized by Brian Battison.

There is absolutely no question that Taseko has bet its development dollar in this Williams Lake area. A successful implementation of its proposed New Prosperity mine development will certainly be a big boost for jobs and the economy of Williams Lake, B.C., and Canada.

Taseko’s New Prosperity development investment is overwhelming. If this were a horse race, it is a race they very likely really need to win, as Taseko has certainly bet the farm on winning. It would appear that Taseko has taken the reasons why the first round failed and adjusted its proposal to include saving tiny Fish Lake— saving this lake being a prime reason why the Chilcotin First Nations communities were against the project in the first place. Will the changes satisfy the Chilcotin peoples? It seems at this time probably not; to the First Nations the bigger picture remains to be native land claims.

I have likened Taseko’s investment to betting on a horse race. Generally speaking, in a horse race one can bet on another horse, or in other words consider alternate options. In New Prosperity, Taseko is offering job and economic development to the greater community as a whole; whereas the only other horse in the race is asking that the greater communities forgo jobs and economic development to protect a small segment of society’s way of life. There is very little balance on these scales, like a small school of gold fish trying to survive in a tank full of hungry sharks.

Negotiations need to be based on give and take; neither side in the final analysis can expect to come out holding all the aces. Constructing a wall of isolation around a community in this period of changing times may inadvertently feed the gold fish to the sharks.

Taseko has committed $300 million and returned a lake, on its side of the negotiations; the question is, is it not time for some give and take in this picture? Many people in the Williams Lake area really do want to help the people of Nemiah Valley preserve their way of life; the people of Nemiah need to, at the same time, to also, very seriously consider the needs of the greater community.

Doug Wilson

Williams Lake