New Democrats Oppose Environmental Review Redo for Prosperity Mine

Cabinet should stand by its previous decision on the project

VANCOUVER - New Democrats are disappointed by the decision to grant Taseko a new environmental review for Prosperity Mine, saying that the Government must stand by its previous decision to reject the mine due to severe environmental impacts.

“We already had a clear decision from Cabinet on this project. A new assessment process is a waste of time and taxpayer dollars,” said Fin Donnelly, NDP Fisheries and Oceans critic (New Westminster-Coquitlam and Port Moody). “The previous environmental assessment clearly indicated this project would have major impacts on the environment and local First Nations.”

Last September, the Conservative government rejected Taseko’s proposal for Prosperity Mine citing an environmental assessment that found it would have serious impacts on fish habitat, wildlife and local First Nations. Jim Prentice, then Minister of the Environment, called the report “scathing” and “probably the most condemning I have ever read.” The new option that Taseko has put forward will damage Tetzan Biny (Fish Lake) and would result in greater, long-term damage to the environment in the region.

“This makes a mockery of the government’s assessment and review of this mine proposal. The original objections on strong environmental grounds are still there. Prosperity Mine should not proceed,” said New Democrat natural resources critic Claude Gravelle (Nickel Belt).

“The original CEAA panel identified significant environmental impacts and rejected the proposal to turn Fish Lake into a tailings dump,” said Donnelly. “Now the company has resubmitted nearly the same plan and is fishing for a different response. This mine does not meet the standard of sustainable development that British Columbians and Canadians expect; the federal government should not allow it to proceed.”