Clark presses Harper on B.C. mine

Premier Christy Clark presides over her first cabinet meeting at the B.C. legislature.

VICTORIA – Premier Christy Clark used her first meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to press for approval of the Prosperity gold mine near Williams Lake.

Harper was in Metro Vancouver this week to take in a Canucks hockey game and participate in a series of funding announcements around B.C. as preparations continue for a possible spring federal election.

Going into her first meetings at the B.C. legislature since being sworn in as premier on Monday, Clark said she didn’t speak with Harper about the timing of a possible B.C. election this year. But she did follow up on a pledge from her leadership campaign to raise the issue of the mine rejected by the federal government last year.

“I told him that I’m interested in making sure that we find a way to get that mine going in British Columbia, because I think it’s important for investment,” she said. “It’s important for jobs, for families across the province to make sure that our rural economies are really working.”

Taseko Mines Ltd. has resubmitted its environmental application for the Prosperity Mine near Williams Lake to the federal government, with a new plan that avoids draining a lake to get at the copper and gold deposit.

In a statement released Feb. 21, Taseko CEO Russell Hallbauer said the price of copper and gold has nearly doubled since his company began its studies in 2005. The rising price of metals has allowed the company to budget an additional $300 million for construction and and operating costs for the life of the mine.

The revised plan preserves Fish Lake, which was proposed to be drained and replaced with an artificial lake to mitigate the habitat loss.

The Tsilhqot’in National Government, which represents aboriginal bands in the region, was dismissive of the new attempt to get environmental approval for the project.

“This latest move by the company leaves little doubt now that its plan all along was to get the cheapest project it could,” said Chief Joe Alphonse, tribal chair of the Tsilhqot’in. “Now it is desperately trying to find any way it can to revive this project regardless of its impact on the environment and our First Nations rights.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP arrives just in time thanks to tip

Officers remind of resources after mental health call Monday morning

Man arrested after speeding to Victoria court date for driving offence

West Shore RCMP remind drivers to be mindful of construction zones

Sunny day crash hampers traffic on Blanshard in Saanich

Lanes closed Monday afternoon as one person taken to hospital

Victoria police seek suspects in series of bear spray attacks

Police responded to several calls Saturday evening

Thief steals ice cream bars from Oak Bay Dairy Queen

Oak Bay resident out nearly $10,000 as CRA scam strikes again

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Shawnigan Lake’s Kubica gets 25 to life for murder in California

Former Shawnigan Lake man convicted of killing woman in 1990

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Duration of Tour de Rock stop in Chemainus much shorter than usual

Four alumni riders don’t get to come for breakfast in COVID year

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Police seek help in naming Cowichan farm stand theft suspect

Video captured man prying cash box out stand on Norcross Road

Pedestrian dies in motor vehicle incident along the highway near Nanaimo Airport

Police investigating scene where 37-year-old woman from Nanaimo died

Most Read