‘Prosperity Mine’: Letter to the Editor

TO: sunletters@png.canwest.com, ssimpson@vancouversun.com
RE: “Prosperity Faces Federal Hurdle” by Scott Simpson (Vancouver Sun, Tuesday September 14, 2010)

How insulting of Simpson to rave about “opportunities lost” if a huge gold/copper mine isn’t built in the heart of BC’s beautiful wilderness (I’ve been there, so I know), with barely a cursory mention of the “significant adverse environmental effects” reported by the CEAA in their assessment of Taseko’s Prosperity Mine proposal.

What many of your readers don’t realize is that these “effects” involve total decimation – eg. clearcutting – of a huge area of abundant old-growth forest and wildlife habitat – including a thriving, world-renowned ecotourism industry! It’s not just First Nations and grizzly bears whose habitat would be lost, but people’s livelihoods drawn from their guest ranches and wilderness tourism resorts – the same “amazing resorts” encouraged by Premier Campbell in his Tourism Action Plan (2007) in which he promised to “make sure communities across B.C. can achieve their full tourism potential” and to “help the tourism industry meet that goal”. He then approved Prosperity Mine being built, which would destroy the lives of the people who now depend upon those businesses for survival.

As for ‘lost opportunities’, how about researching existing gold/copper mines elsewhere in the world (eg. Grasberg) to find out how locals view the ‘benefits’ of living with a mine in their midst. Clearly, the losses would be far greater, if not catastrophic, if this destructive project were approved – including BC wilderness (a precious environmental commodity, as is becoming clearer with each report on climate-change, global carbon-counts and percentages of forests remaining on this planet, having been hacked down irresponsibly by greedy mining corporations), First Nations territory and locals’ homes/livelihoods…

Shown below are a couple of galling examples of gold/copper mines operating here in B.C.  You can see there isn’t one tree in sight at either location – nor any sign of life, i.e. the wildlife whose native habitat was destroyed so humans could gauge the land for more insane amounts of money.
As someone who cares about our treatment of the environment, wildlife and each other, I’d rather lose those ‘opportunities’ you fail to properly outline in your article than the wilderness which makes BC unique (and beneficial if not crucial to the health of animals, humans and planet Earth).
Time to re-think our definition of ‘opportunity’, and look into the vast reserves of already-mined resources which could readily be recycled and reused…
(Supporting Prosperity Mine = supporting murder)
SARAH CHESTERMAN
Vancouver, BC