Today, as Taseko Mines Ltd. tries to revive its case against the federal environmental assessment of its proposed New Prosperity copper-gold mine in Tŝilhqot’in territory in central British Columbia to the Federal Court of Appeal, we thought it would be useful to revisit the issues that brought MiningWatch to intervene in support of the environmental assessment – and in support of the Tŝilhqot’in National Government which has been protecting its territory through the many years this project has been on the books.
As we noted a little over a year ago, when the Federal Court dismissed Taseko's lawsuit, MiningWatch Canada, represented by Ecojustice lawyer Sean Nixon, intervened in the court case in order to reinforce the integrity of several key aspects of the environmental assessment process, which echoed earlier findings that the project in its original form posed an unacceptable risk to the environment and specifically to Teztan Biny (“Fish Lake”), a site of great importance to the Tŝilhqot’in Nation. When the case originally went to court two years ago, we described how Taseko took a backwards approach to the environmental assessment by claiming that it would address any serious environmental problems after the assessment process. We submitted to the Court, and the Court agreed, that one of the core purposes of environmental assessment is precisely to look at a range of scenarios and investigate potential problems – and their solutions – before a project can be approved. We're hoping the Court of Appeal upholds this principle.
From December, 2017: Dead Mine Walking? Federal Court Reconfirms Taseko’s “New Prosperity” Mine a ‘No Go’