Business leaders ask Conservative cabinet to approve Prosperity Mine

Several B.C. business organizations have urged the federal cabinet to approve the proposed $800-million Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine, even though a federal review panel has found that it would have a negative impact on the environment.

In a news release issued today (July 2), the Business Council of B.C., the Mining Association of B.C., the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C., and the B.C. Chamber of Commerce all spoke in favour of developing the mine in the B.C. Interior.

The business groups claimed it would add $340 million to the annual provincial gross domestic project, and generate $443 million for local, regional, and provincial governments over the lifetime of the project.

A federal panel released a report today, which found that Prosperity Mine would have "significant adverse environmental effects" on fish and fish habitat, navigation, and current use of lands and resources by First Nations for traditional purposes. In addition it would have the same negative consequences for "certain potential or established aboriginal rights or title".

Moreover, the panel determined that the project would result in a "significant adverse cumulative effect" on grizzly bears in the South Chilcotin and on fish and fish habitat.

The panel submitted its report to the ministers of fisheries and oceans, environment, transport, and natural resources.

The proposed mine is 125 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake. Aboriginal people and many other local residents have objected to a plan by Taseko Mines to eliminate Fish Lake, which is home to 85,000 trout.

The company has offered to build a new body of water, called Prosperity Lake, in a different location.

Last August, the Georgia Straight published a feature article, "Fight Looms Over Fish Lake", which included the following comment by Alexandria First Nation chief Bernie Elkins: "We feel the Creator is the only one who makes lakes.”

Earlier this year, the Williams Lake Tribune quoted a former Tsi Del Del Nation chief, Ervin Charleyboy, saying the mine will be built “over my dead body”.

The federal panel's executive summary is availablehere.

Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.

Comments

4 Comments

Camero409

Jul 3, 2010 at 8:10am

Aren't these the same cast of characters that support the HST? All the more reason not to allow the mine to go ahead. I'm sure Hee Haw Harper will accept the review boards findings and reject the request....... hold it, I'm starting to gag! Ugh!, this smells!

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S W

Jul 3, 2010 at 4:09pm

Likely the same cast the world over that argues financial concerns (= money) are the be-all-and-end-all both for their shareholders' bottom line and every community's best interest. With this cast of characters, the tobacco, asbestos, arms, & toxic chemical industries -- any industry at all that makes a lot of money -- all have the very best reason to exist: they create jobs and make money. Other criteria?

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Burnabarian

Jul 4, 2010 at 10:22am

I would like to know which companies are members of the Business Council of BC so that they can explain their support for committing an environmental crime.

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Julie

Sep 12, 2010 at 5:11pm

When you see, the House of Commons, pass a motion to give, banks, big business, gas and oil company's , billions of our tax payers money. And, give them huge tax reductions. And because, big business is a bottomless pit of greed. They are now at the trough, squealing for the HST as well. All of the House of Commons, B.S. was on TV. So of course, they want to pollute Fish Lake. After all, they could care less, if the toxic mine waste, leaches into the eco system. They see nothing wrong with toxic poisoning, in the rivers and streams, the poison will leach into. So what, if the wildlife will die from it. Harper and Campbell are the most evil politicians, in Canadian history.