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Letter: Minister more like lobbyist for mine companies
To the editor:
Bill Bennett, Kootenay East MLA and Minister of Energy and Mines, is acting more like a paid lobbyist for Taseko Mines rather than a minister and MLA responsible to the electorate.
It has been revealed that the Liberal Party of B.C. received over $100,000 in campaign donations from Taseko Mines, as well as $5,000 being donated to Mr. Bennett’s own election campaign.
While in Ottawa, Mr. Bennett made numerous and obvious misrepresentations of fact, such as calling the proposed open pit mine “normal.”
Actually, the project would rely on technologies that have never been used on this scale before. It was determined by the Review Panel that “even with expensive water treatment measures, the protection of Fish Lake water quality is unlikely to succeed in the long term.” (Page IX, Executive Summary, FRPR).
Mr. Bennett also incorrectly stated that the location of the proposed tailings facility was “up slope” of Fish Lake, not upstream, where indeed it would be. (Power and Politics, CBC TV, Jan. 13)
If Mr. Bennett had attended the Environmental Review Panel Hearings in 2013, he would have learned that the risks and flaws reported by federal and provincial scientists, including those in his own ministry, seriously put to question the legitimacy of this proposal. “Abnormal” would be a more accurate description of this mining plan.
Many Cariboo region residents are disturbed by Mr. Bennett’s lobbying on behalf of a mining company of who’s proposal has been found to have serious significant impacts by two independent review panels. It begs the question: Will Mr. Bennett’s extreme partiality again present itself during the decision-making process of other controversial mining proposals in B.C., such as the Ajax mine in Kamloops? It is my opinion Mr. Bennett should resign.