Science of mine hearings certainly tells story

MLA Donna Barnett characterizes many of us opposed to this make work project as “lobbyists opposed to everything.”

Editor:

In her letter to the panel conducting hearings into New Prosperity Mine, MLA Donna Barnett characterizes many of us opposed to this make work project as “lobbyists opposed to everything.”

As a research based organization, Friends of the Nemaiah Valley (FONV) is prepared to support thoughtful developments that respect Aboriginal values, protect the environment, and provide economic benefit to B.C.

Ms. Barnett also says that “science” should be the guiding factor in resource-based industry decision making.  We agree with this.

Unfortunately Ms. Barnett either does not understand the science that has been presented at the technical hearings, or chooses to ignore the conclusions it has presented to the panel from highly trained scientists working for Fisheries and Oceans, Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada, The Provincial Ministry of Energy and Mines, and from independent fisheries and water quality experts hired by the Tsilhqot’in National Government.

All have concluded that water quality cannot be maintained and that Taseko’s system is either unlikely to or cannot work as designed.

She seems unaware, or doesn’t care, that independent reports by Dr. Sue Senger, representing the St’at’imc First Nations, and by Wayne McCrory, RPBio., for Friends of the Nemaiha Valley, have stated that the endangered Chilcotin grizzly will be driven to extinction by the mine.

The science certainly appears to be unequivocal — this mine must not proceed.

We also believe critical examination of the economic and business case for any development should also be part of an assessment, not unthinking acceptance of typically wildly inflated figures put out by a proponent. We also understand that in the end “values” will play a large role, as they must, in any decision.

New Prosperity failed to meet any of the tests we would apply to a development of this magnitude.

David Williams

President, Friends of the Nemaiah Valley