The Council of Canadians applauds the Tsilhqot’in Nation and celebrates the federal decision to reject the contentious Taseko Mines Limited New Prosperity Mine.
“We are relieved by the government decision not to approve this project. After participating in two federal environmental assessments and reviewing the conclusions of both panels, it is clear to us that this is the right decision. We feel that most Canadians would expect their government to respect the results of the independent scientific review process and to honour their constitutional obligations to the people of the Tsilhqot’in Nation that would be impacted by this project. We are very concerned about the suggestion that Taseko may be invited to submit yet another application for approval of this mining proposal. To allow Taseko to continually ask different panels to review substantially the same information hoping to eventually get a more favourable report makes a mockery of the environmental assessment process and is unfair to the people that are threatened by this proposed development. There is no right way to configure the wrong project in the wrong location.” - Keith Monroe, Williams Lake Chapter Representative, Council of Canadians
“Once again the federal Environment Minister has concluded that the New Prosperity Mine would cause significant environmental and cultural impacts that cannot be mitigated and has made the right decision to reject this project. Thanks to the tireless and courageous work of the Tsilhqot'in Nation and their allies, Fish Lake, Little Fish Lake and Nabas are safe for now. We hope that this decision finally seals the fate of this irresponsible and destructive project and that any future proposals for this mine are abandoned.” - Leila Darwish, BC-Yukon Regional Organizer, Council of Canadians
BACKGROUND ON TASEKO’S PROPOSED NEW PROSPERITY MINE
The Prosperity Mine was rejected in 2010 by the federal government, based on a scathing independent federal review that found the mine would have irreversible, devastating impacts to local fish and fish habitat and endangered grizzly populations, to Tsilhqot’in cultural activities and heritage, and to the proven and asserted Aboriginal rights and title of the Tsilhqot’in people.
In 2011, Taseko Mines resubmitted a revised plan, rebranded as the New Prosperity Mine, to a second federal review panel. The New Prosperity Mine has been shown to have equally destructive if not more detrimental environmental and cultural impacts, and has just been rejected by the federal government. This project has now been rejected for the third time, twice under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.