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.”

Just Posted

UPDATE: ‘Spontaneous combustion’ likely cause of fire at mushroom composting facility on Lougheed Highway

First responders were at the blaze near the Skawahlook First Nation Tuesday

Approval for AirBnB-style rentals in Kent delayed after public hearing

Staff will be taking the bylaw amendments back for a closer look before final adoption

Kent Harrison Emergency Support team honoured for work during 2017 wildfire season

The volunteer group was activated for 254 days in a row to help evacuees

Trial dates set for three men accused of 2017 killing near Hope

Lawyers for the accused appeared in Kelowna at B.C. Supreme Court on Monday

Wildfire threatens weekend campers at Chehalis Lake

The fire started on the north side of Chehalis Lake Saturday

VIDEO: Reading splashes into Agassiz’s Ferny Coombe Pool

The Agassiz Library held its annual Reading in the Pool event Friday, June 14

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Tsilhqot’in Nation urges Taseko Mines to stop drilling plans before conflict grows

Nation said Teztan Biny area is of ‘profound cultural and spiritual importance’

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Plane veers off runway, into ditch at Langley Airport

Fire, ambulance, and police are on scene

Okanagan RCMP bike patrol rolls up on alleged stolen vehicle from Burnaby

The driver, a 30-year-old Kelowna man, has been held in custody and is facing possible charges of possession of stolen property and obstructing a police officer

Man arrested after pimping investigation in Whistler

A 44-year-old man has been charged with procuring and benefiting from sexual services

Thieves steal two $40K chairs featuring gold serpents from B.C. furniture store

Chairs believed to be the only two of its kind in Canada, police said

Most Read