Fish Lake destruction should prompt action

I just about lost my lunch after opening up the paper [“Fight looms over Fish Lake”, August 27–September 3]. Are we still sleeping in 2009 as our outdated way of life continues to burden the planet? Who needs fresh water or a clean ecosystem when we can harvest what few resources we have left for corporate profit?

We have the intelligence and tools to bring a halt to the destruction threatening our very existence. It’s not going to line the pockets of the fat cats running this archaic monetary-based show, and that’s why it is us—the 90 percent who are working for these guys—who have to do something.

It’s time for the majority to stand up against the minority and demand change. Give them no choice by boycotting them with the money we still base our existence around.

> Carol-Anne Besler / Vancouver


Fight looms over Fish Lake” was an interesting read, especially for me, someone who had spoken at length with writer Andrew Findlay as he was preparing his article.

Mr. Findlay fairly represented the significant and overwhelming public support for the project, especially in Williams Lake. And he reasonably presented what he describes as “breathtaking”: the investment, job creation, and revenue-generating power of Prosperity Mine, with 60,000 man-years of employment and revenue contributions of $1.7 billion federally and $3.4 billion provincially.

However, I must correct the record on why Fish Lake must be compromised if the mine is to proceed. We are not using the lake to store mine tailings, as the story suggests. Rather than use Fish Lake, our plan for managing mine tailings involves the construction of a separate secure storage facility.

The reason Fish Lake must be compromised is that it sits immediately upstream of the mineral deposit. In order to extract the minerals in the most environmentally sound and responsible manner, Fish Lake must be partially drained. Having even a small body of water like Fish Lake perched above (upstream of) a mining operation simply presents too great a risk to worker safety and mine security.

To compensate for draining Fish Lake and the associated loss of fish habitat, a new lake—Prosperity Lake—will be built in the same watershed. Prosperity Lake will be larger and deeper than Fish Lake and will create a rainbow trout fishery from fish that are genetically identical to those currently present in Fish Lake.

We tried to find a way to avoid impacting Fish Lake. We examined, in great detail, 15 different alternative ways to build Prosperity Mine. But in the end, there was no way around it.

> Brian Battison / Vice President Corporate Affairs, Taseko Mines Limited