NR – Court exonerates Wilderness Committee in Taseko Mines defamation suit

VANCOUVER – The Wilderness Committee is celebrating a BC Supreme Court ruling that confirmed the environmental group was within its rights to criticize a proposed mine project located west of Williams Lake, BC.

In early 2012, Taseko Mines filed a lawsuit alleging that the Wilderness Committee made defamatory statements about the company’s New Prosperity mine project during the public comment period. In the ruling released Monday afternoon, Hon. Mr. Justice Funt dismissed Taseko’s claims and awarded the Wilderness Committee court costs as well as extra costs incurred as a result of the lawsuit.

“We are thrilled with this result. We have a responsibility to speak up about industrial projects that threaten the environment – and Taseko’s proposed mine would have had a major environmental impact,” said Gwen Barlee, National Policy Director with the Wilderness Committee. “We stood our ground and now we’re vindicated.”

In February 2014, then Minister of the Environment Leona Aglukkaq announced her decision to reject Taseko’s New Prosperity project. The minister stated that the mine was “likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.” In early 2015, lawyers representing the Wilderness Committee and Taseko Mines squared off in court over a period of 10 days…..

“It’s time for British Columbia to enact anti-SLAPP legislation to prevent this from happening again.” The Wilderness Committee is calling on the BC government to enact anti-SLAPP legislation so that people who express their views on proposed industrial projects are not harassed with lawsuits launched against them. Reasons for Judgement – Hon. Mr. Justice Funt, January 25, 2016

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