This is MiningWatch Canada's submission to the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office, commenting on the draft final assessment report for Osisko Development Corporation (ODV)’s Cariboo Gold Project in Wells, British Columbia. This is the first project to reach this stage in the province's new Environmental Assessment Act (2018).
Wells residents have consistently indicated their support for a new mining project that is configured to protect the existing community and its environment, including its vibrant arts and tourism economy, its peaceful and attractive natural environment, and critical habitat for the Barkerville caribou herd. Unfortunately, the project as proposed, including proposed mitigation measures, does not meet these basic requirements; the draft assessment report’s endorsement of the project is unwarranted and unsupported by the evidence. Since the proponent has chosen not to configure the project components so as to respect the integrity of the community and the natural environment, the proposal must be rejected, and the proponent should be encouraged to develop a proposal to meet these reasonable and achievable standards.