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

Committee to oversee expansion of Teck coal mine in Sparwood

Socio-Community Economics Effects Advisory Committee formed; plus other District of Sparwood news

Accused in Fernie stabbing case remanded in custody

Livan Chris Barnett is scheduled to appear in Cranbrook Law Courts via video on December 17

Hosmer woman victim of a broken health system

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

Law professor owes career to Legion scholarship

Forty years after receiving an invaluable scholarship, Nancy Banks has paid it forward

Avalanche Canada issues special public warning

Very weak layer buried under recent snow a cause for concern

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Christmas comes early for Fernie Ghostriders

Riders take massive 6-0 victory at home, acquire pro player from Denmark

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Fernie pair shares learnings from life-changing experiences in the mountains

Martina Halik and Todd Weselake host Q&A at special screening of This Mountain Life

Final phase of Kelowna hospital cardiac centre completed

Finishing new recovery rooms marks completion of $381 million project

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Most Read