Former chief Ervin Charleyboy says Fish Lake will be drained "over his dead body"
The Williams Lake Tribune has quoted a former Tsi Del Del Nation chief saying he will not sit back and watch Vancouver-based Taseko Mines drain an Interior lake so that it can create a new mine.
“It will be over my dead body. ”¦I will not sit back any longer," Ervin Charleyboy told Taseko Mines vice president Brian Battison at a public hearing, according to the newspaper. "Like I said, I’ll be in your face and on your case every chance I get. Don’t you forget that, Mr. Battison. That’s not a threat either; that’s a promise.”
Last August, the Georgia Straight published a feature article, "Fight Looms Over Fish Lake", which described a plan by Taseko Mines to create Prosperity Mine 125 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake.
The company claims that the $800-million project would create 6,800-person years of employment and huge tax revenue for federal and provincial governments.
But there's a problem. It requires altering the hydrology to eliminate Fish Lake, which is home to an estimated 85,000 rainbow trout, and replacing it with an artificial body of water called Prosperity Lake. This has enraged aboriginal people in the area.
In a letter to the Straight last year, Battison explained it this way: "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."
Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.
Apr 4, 2010 at 1:55pm
The lake's not in the way of the mine, the mine's in the way of the lake's good health. Don't build it, plain and simple.
Apr 4, 2010 at 3:29pm
This sounds like the mining company simply did not pay the Nation for the loss of the resource. I bet at the end of the day a payment and employment guarantees will be made and those pawns (I mean trout) will become expendable. IMHO.
Apr 4, 2010 at 7:54pm
It doesn't just piss off aboriginal people in the area - it enrages almost everyone who is aware of the issue. If the mine proceeds it will set a TERRIBLE precedent. We will start seeing lakes being used as tailing ponds for mines across the country.
On another note: BC's environmental assessment office approved this project - simply pathetic.
Apr 4, 2010 at 9:01pm
It sure would be great if we had someone like David Suzuki that would stand up to the horrific environmental track record of this government.
Apr 4, 2010 at 9:39pm
Our toxic culture puts profit before everything.
Apr 5, 2010 at 9:20am
All you cry babies better get on the boat or you'll be watching everyone else counting their coins!!! Approval is imminent!!
Apr 5, 2010 at 10:22am
There has to be a way to allow progress. No part of Mother Earth remains static, whether induced by corporations, "modern citizens", or native peoples. If those opposed truly lived 100% off the land and had nothing to do with current culture and its benefits then I would feel more swayed by their arguments. However, I can say with most certainty that the tribal constituents involved in this drive automobiles and shop at large chain grocery stores, other examples of social and economic progress. The melodramatic threats/promises of Ervin Charleyboy and other people of Native ancestry trying to stop the mine are simply that, melodramatic, towards the likely end goal of self gain.
Apr 5, 2010 at 4:43pm
Campbell, would destroy the entire province, for his own ends. He threw a tantrum in legislature, the Aboriginal did not want tankers carrying dirty crude oil in BC's inlets. There was to be open hunting of the Spirit Bear, now poisoning Fish Lake. If it was his own citizens protesting, he would not even hesitate, he would just use his dirty tactics and do it anyway. Fortunately he can't stomp all over the Aboriginal People, at least some of the wild life, rivers and lakes can be preserved. However, the Aboriginal People, had better watch their backs. We citizens didn't watch our backs, and we got several knives stabbed in them.
Apr 5, 2010 at 6:26pm
Forget it dudes and dudettes. China has already pretty much completely destroyed the environment of their country. Now if y'all keep whining about this Fish lake and the responsible manner in which the company wishes to engineer the project, and 1000s of others just like it, you'll slowly but surely completly destroy our country's economy. Then China will be free to just march in and take it. Then THEY will not only drain the lake, but trash the 100 square miles around it, in a very irresponsible Chinese-way. Would you like that better ? Pick your poison wisely.
Apr 6, 2010 at 6:54am
Lakes have already been drained for mining profit here in Canada. This one is just close enough to people who care enough to speak up. If it can be done in an evironmentally sound manner then Im all for it... otherwise.... I guess I'll have to use my shares as TP.... :)