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NEWS RELEASE · 14th September 2010
MP Nathan Cullen
New Democrat MPs from British Columbia are calling on Stephen Harper to stand down and accept an environmental assessment panel’s ruling against a reckless mining proposal near Williams Lake.

The New Democrats say the so-called Prosperity Mine is a grave threat to fish and wildlife, livelihoods and First Nations’ inherent rights.

“The independent federal environment assessment panel was clear: Prosperity Mine is not worth the risk,” said Natural Resources Critic Nathan Cullen.

“The panel travelled to many communities and heard from many stakeholders. Never in our country’s history has a federal cabinet ignored such a clear assessment and approved a project against a panel’s recommendation. This mine does not meet the standards of sustainable development that British Columbians expect.”

“Fish Lake was named for its abundant life. The mine’s proponents want to turn this bountiful, pristine lake into a tailings pond. The federal assessment panel ruled that an artificial lake could not compensate for the loss of this natural lake. Cabinet should support that decision and turn down this application,” said Fisheries Critic Fin Donnelly (New Westminster Coquitlam).

“The Tsilhqot’in people won a difficult court case confirming that decisions concerning resources on their traditional territories must not be made without their input,” said Jean Crowder (Nanaimo-Cowichan), the party’s Aboriginal Affairs critic. “The Tsilhqot’in and the Secwepemc people downriver depend on Fish Lake as a source of food and cultural practice. That cannot be replaced, and I call on the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development to protect First Nations’ interests in this matter.”

Cabinet is expected to decide within days whether it will accept the federal panel’s assessment or ignore it and approve the Prosperity Mine.