From UBCIC's Facebook Page:
December 3, 2013, Williams Lake, B.C:
The Tsilhqot’in National Government responded today to a judicial review filing submitted by Taseko Mines Limited to federal court, which continues the unfounded allegations that the Panel used the wrong seepage model in coming to some of its conclusions. Moreover, the company has also attacked the integrity of the Panel, calling the manner in which their findings were made “perverse or capricious” and claiming that the Panel “showed undue deference to one category of parties and creating a hearing environment that was unfair and hostile to Taseko”.
“We’re accustomed to this company’s contempt for the environmental review process,” said Chief Roger William of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government. “This is the same company that also attacked the integrity of the previous Panel, citing bias on their part, and trying to sack one of the Panel members. Those claims were rejected during the previous review. This is the same company that still has outstanding bills from the federal government’s 2010 review. Now that we have two scathing independent expert panel reports, this company will do anything to salvage this disastrous proposal, but in our view there’s simply no way that two independent panels got it wrong.”
“The court filing says nothing about Tsilhqot’in Aboriginal rights, which tells us once again that this company doesn’t care about us or our culture, like when they tried to ban our prayers and drumming from the hearings in a letter to then-Minister Kent in 2011,” said Chief Russell Myers Ross of the Yunesit’in Government. “Despite these attempts, both Panels found severe infringements of our proven Aboriginal rights, and cited this as a threat to the survival of our culture and our identity as a people. There’s no way that the federal government can ignore these findings.”
Chief William: “The honour of the Crown and the integrity of the EA process are on trial, and we will be reviewing the court filings over the next week and will take any steps we believe are needed to protect the interests of the Tsilhqot’in people.”
Chief Myers Ross: “This court filing is an attempt to distract us from the many significant adverse effects that were found regardless of what ‘model’ was used for seepage – effects to fish, fish habitat, grizzly, infringements of proven Tsilhqot’in rights and asserted title. Both Panels found that many of these significant adverse impacts could not be mitigated.”
Notably, the Tsilhqot’in have already responded to the company’s allegations, calling them “demonstrably false and clearly calculated to undermine the second independent panel to confirm the devastating cultural and environmental impacts of its proposed Project.” The Panel’s findings were demonstrated to be based on numerous issues and concerns raised by a number of provincial and federal departments, as well as independent experts.
The detailed TNG submission to CEAA can be found here: