Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Mayor Cook responds to recent Roger William Op-Ed

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

In response to parts of the opinion article by Xeni Gwet’in Chief Roger William entitled “New Prosperity project cannot be saved” in the Nov. 20 edition of the Vancouver Sun, Mayor Kerry Cook today made the following statement:

“It is important to emphasize that the City’s position on the New Prosperity mine proposal has always been one of support. In addition to consistently stating its support, the City has also maintained that environmental and First Nations concerns need to be addressed.

“In City communications and in public remarks, I have also made it consistently clear that the project has potentially huge benefits for Williams Lake and the region, while pointing out that the notion that Williams Lake is in trouble or doomed without New Prosperity is just not true. In his article, Chief William seems to use this message to support his argument that the benefits of the mine are ‘overstated and undersupported.’ In fact, the benefits are large, a fact I have acknowledged many times. As mayor, however, I feel it is my role to emphasize that the community’s sustainability does not rely solely on this project, as some believe, and express the faith I have in our residents, businesses, and industry to continue to move Williams Lake forward.”

“Chief William also notes I have said the mine ‘should only proceed if the environmental and aboriginal rights can be addressed.’ This is City Council’s resolution on the issue, and it has been consistent. But the New Prosperity project is still in the environmental review process, and the Oct. 31 panel review report, which found the mine would have significant adverse effects on the environment, is part of that process. Taseko Mines claims an error was made by a government agency, and consequently the panel concerning seepage from a tailing facility; that information is being reviewed by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. Regardless of that process, the decision whether the mine can proceed currently rests with the Minister of Environment. With the process yet to be completed, it is premature to use Council’s resolution as an argument that the mine should not proceed, or to imply that Council does not or should not support the mine’s approval.”
Editor's Note -- you can view the op-ed from Xeni Gwet'in Chief (and Cariboo RD Area J Director) Roger William here.  I wonder if this was a good move by the City  I thought Chief William's op-ed was fair, balanced and reasonable

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