Misinformation and bias at mine forum

Editor:
We must express our concern regarding TNG “mining manager” Mr. JP Laplante representing himself to the people of Williams Lake …

Editor:

In response to Tuesday’s article, we must express our concern regarding TNG “mining manager” Mr. JP Laplante representing himself to the people of Williams Lake as an authority on the New Prosperity project, the Canadian environmental review process, and the position of Taseko Mines with respect to environment impact mitigation strategies. He is none of these things.

Regrettably Mr. Laplante and the TNG-sponsored public meeting generally have jumped the gun on the official public forums that are forthcoming as part of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s due process. These latter forums are intended to encourage informed and moderated discussion in an environment where accurate information is available to all and questions can be answered by accredited experts on all matters. It is troubling that the facts about a project with such profound benefits for the regional, provincial and national economies — including thousands of new jobs and billions in new public revenues — should be buried under a program of misinformation and bias, such as it was on Thursday.

It is very telling that Mr. Laplante used the federal panel findings on the original Prosperity project development plan to levy his criticisms. That plan is not what is currently before the federal government for review nor does it reflect the significant measures Taseko Mines has undertaken in New Prosperity to address the concerns of the government and those of the Tsilhqot’in Nation. Conspicuously absent in Mr. Laplante’s reference to the federal panel findings were the conclusions of that panel that stated the project would have “no significant environmental effects on air quality, water quality, wildlife or vegetation; no risk to fish in the Taseko River; and no risk to human health.”

New Prosperity goes even further in minimizing environmental impact.

Taseko Mines is committed to the rigorous environmental review process that is currently underway with CEAA at the helm. We encourage all concerned with the project — from the thousands of supporters in the Cariboo Chilcotin to the most outspoken opponents — to respect this process and participate in fruitful dialogue based on verifiable facts. We look forward to well-attended public forums as part of the CEAA process in the coming months.

Meanwhile, the full New Prosperity project description, as it now sits before government, is available for review on the online discussion forum http://www.newprosperityproject.ca.

 

Brian Battison

vice president,

corporate affairs

Taseko Mines Limited