In view of the unconditional rejection of New Prosperity Mine by federal environment minister Leona Aglukkaq and the Conservative cabinet, several Cariboo-Chilcotin civic, provincial, and federal politicians should be taken to task for blindly following the wishes of Taseko Mines Ltd. Provincial mines minister Bill Bennett, who ignored the doubts of his own ministry, is in an impossible position. His unabashed advocacy in the face of scientific evidence that indicated the New Prosperity Mine plan could not work makes us question his fitness for his job. He should resign.
It was apparent throughout the debate that none of these elected officials had followed the technical hearings in any detail, let alone understood them and the conclusions drawn by the independent panel. Nor did they care. This can only be described as wilful blindness that misled many to expect a different outcome.
A careful reading of the CEAA news release and report reveals little, if any, grounds for a renewed application for this project. It is, for all intents and purposes, dead. There will be noises from the company and grumbling from politicians and supporters, but it is really over.
We urge politicians and mine supporters to now work toward a sustainable economic vision for the region based on our natural splendours, not the destruction of natural resources. This must be done in partnership with First Nations. It is their vision that promises a sustainable future. We have an opportunity here now and I urge mayors, MLAs and MPs to get on board.
Friends of the Nemaiah Valley