To the editor:
One has to wonder why some people in our community, including our MLA Donna Barnett and some members of the South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce, continue to support and promote Taseko Mines Ltd.’s mining proposal at Fish Lake, despite the fact the project has received its second bad environmental review.
One of Taseko Mines’ main selling points for its New Prosperity plan was that Fish Lake (Teztan Biny) would be saved, and yet the independent Federal Environmental Review Panel has found otherwise.
For example, the panel determined there would be significant adverse effects on water and water quality and fish and fish habitat in Teztan Biny. If the 27 square kilometre mine were to proceed, Fish Lake’s water quality would deteriorate to the point that its unique 85,000 trout would die – perhaps within a decade.
The report also shows the proposed mine would have devastating impacts on First Nations. The mine would have a “significant adverse effect on Tsilhqot’in current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes,” and on their cultural heritage. It would interfere with Aboriginal people’s rights, protected under our Canadian Constitution.
The panel accepted Dr. Nancy Turner’s assertion that Fish Lake (Teztan Biny) and the surrounding area is a Cultural Keystone Place for the Tsilhqot’in people, a place that has extremely high and irreplaceable cultural significance.
In light of all this evidence, how can anyone, in good conscience, continue to support this mining proposal?
Those who still support the mine are supporting the destruction of Fish Lake and its fish. They are supporting the destruction of an irreplaceable Cultural Keystone Place for the Tsilhqot’in people, the loss of their culture, and infringement of their legal rights.
Let’s move on. Let’s explore economic development opportunities that have less environmental impact and that have the support of First Nations.
1. Report of the Federal Review Panel New Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine Project. October 31, 2013. Page 251-254
2. Ibid. Pages 190-92
108 Mile Ranch