By Ana Rose Walkey.
A Federal Court judge has ruled against a contentious mine proposal in central British Columbia, upholding Ottawa’s decision to reject the project over concerns it would adversely affect the environment.
A pair of decisions, released this week, mark the latest blow for Taseko Mines Ltd.’s New Prosperity mine, which is opposed by local First Nations, has been rejected twice by the federal government and has been the subject of years of litigation.
The company says it’s reviewing the court decision. The New Prosperity project is a proposed open-pit copper and gold mine located 125 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake, B.C., near the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation community, part of the Tsilhqot’in Nation.
While the project received the approval of the former B.C. Liberal government, the federal government under the Conservatives rejected it twice, most recently in 2014. Among the concerns was the impact on Fish Lake, which the Tsilhqot’in National Government considers a sacred site.
…Councillor Marilyn Baptiste, a former chief of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government, said the decision was an important victory against the New Prosperity proposal. “One of the biggest things that our elders would appreciate when they hear this is our voice is heard,” she said.
“That is one of the most important pieces to our elders and our people on the ground after decades of struggle to protect our area; it is vindicated, it is a great victory.”