From the Council of Canadians website, September 9, 2010
The Council of Canadians and MiningWatch Canada delivered almost 15,000 petitions against Schedule 2 to the Confederation Block where Environment Minister Jim Prentice has his Parliament Hill office this week. The delivery was made in advance of a federal Cabinet decision on the future of Teztin Biny (Fish Lake), a freshwater lake that is facing the threat of destruction under Schedule 2.
Schedule 2 is a loophole in the Metal Mining Effluent Regulation (MMER) of the federal Fisheries Act that allows metal mining corporations to use lakes and rivers as toxic dumpsites. Once added to Schedule 2, healthy freshwater lakes lose all environmental protections.
The federal government is expected to announce its decision on Taseko Mines Limited’s proposed “Prosperity Mine” project as early as Friday September 10. Located in British Columbia, southwest of Williams Lake, the project calls for an open gold and copper mine in the heart of Tsilhqot'in First Nations territory. While the province approved the proposal, a federal review panel rejected it last month saying it would have “significant adverse environmental effect and significant cumulative impact on fish and bear population and habitat around Teztan Biny (Fish Lake), Fish Creek and Little Fish Lake.” Generations of the Tsilhqot'in people have opposed the project, which would jeopardize a sacred site of great cultural and historic significance. The lake and its surroundings have been an important source of food security for the Tsilhqot’in who have lived, fished and hunted in the area for thousands of years.
In case you might think that democracy-in-action is not alive and kicking, here is a story to set your doubts aside.
Saving rivers and lakes from mining dumping is not an insigificant or petulant ideal. It is a national ideal!
And all Canadians, whether members of the CofC or not share responsibility for their protection.
Congrat's to the Council....and to Minister Prentice, this would be a good time to shed your government's corporate agenda, in favour of the environment.
That might even make you a little more eligible for the leadership of your party, if and when it becomes available!