Open letter to federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq:
I am writing to register my opposition to the proposed New Prosperity Mine at Teztan Biny near Williams Lake British Columbia.
The New Prosperity Mine proposal went through an extensive Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency review last summer (2013), and the panel report was scathing for both the environmental integrity of the mining plan, and for the cultural harm the mine will inflict upon the Xeni Gwetin First Nation and Tsilhqotin Aboriginal community.
A group of business people and politicians in the Cariboo who are supporting the mine, are spreading the false idea that the CEAA environmental review process was flawed.
Nothing can be further from the truth.
The assessment of the mine was very thorough and scientific and conducted by an array of world-class scientists at the top of their fields.
To permit the mine to go ahead after such a damning condemnation would be a mockery of the CEAA environmental assessment process, and would bring to question Canadas integrity as an environmentally responsible country.
The violation of human rights is a serious question in the permitting of this mine.
Taseko Mines Ltd is at loggerheads with the Tsilhqotin and Xeni Gwetin First Nations over this proposal. Major developments of this magnitude in the homelands of aboriginal communities must be done in consort with these First Nations, not at their expense over their stringent objection.
If you were to permit this mine over such adamant opposition to this project by the First Nation who calls this place home, it would create a black mark on Canadas reputation, and be an international embarrassment.
Economics must not trump environmental integrity in this pristine region of British Columbia.
Industrial development must not override the well being of the Xeni Gwetin community, which is a very precious component of Canadas cultural mosaic.
Please Ms Aglukkaq, reject the New Prosperity Mine application, once and for all.
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