Sunday 27th September 2020

Resource Clips

Defining a problem

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A grammatically garbled statement from Amnesty International seemed to claim expert knowledge of international human rights and international law regarding the environment and indigenous people. The Council of Canadians claimed expertise from “over 25 years of experience working with communities to protect water resources.”

The panel does not, however, verify expertise before assigning interested party status. But “any interested party who presents information as an expert must demonstrate his or her credentials and may be questioned by others who wish to test the information presented,” the panel informed ResourceClips by e-mail.

An e-mail response from the CEAA itself (as opposed to its appointed three-member panel) didn’t answer questions posed by ResourceClips over the phone. The CEAA did reiterate the “four pillars of the government’s plan for responsible resource development: predictable, certain and timely reviews; reduced duplication; strengthened environmental protection and enhanced consultations with aboriginal peoples.”

The federal government rejected a previous Taseko proposal in 2010 after a three-person environmental panel criticized it largely for non-environmental reasons.

Most of the other interested parties selected by the current panel are local groups and individuals. One exception is the Wilderness Committee. In March Taseko launched a libel suit alleging the WC defamed the company on its Web site and Facebook page. In response the WC denied all allegations and charged that the company was attempting a SLAPP suit (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) and Charter violation.

On related notes, new Ontario mining regulations that take effect April 1 will require companies to give natives at least 30 days of detailed notice before beginning early-stage drilling on Crown land. Earlier this month the B.C. government disregarded a positive provincial environmental review to reject Pacific Booker Minerals’ TSXV:BKM Morrison Lake copper-gold-molybdenum proposal.

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