Tsilhqot'in Nation: Save Teztan Biny (Fish Lake)
The Threat to Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) Is Back! You Can Support the Latest Legal Challenge.
The Tsilhqot’in Nation is back in court; your help is vital to save a sacred lake, pristine sub-alpine ecosystem and their cultural heritage.
Taseko Mines Ltd has filed two separate judicial reviews arising from the rejection of the New Prosperity Mine back in 2014 — the first seeks to set aside the scathing report of the independent federal environmental review panel, and the second judicial review seeks to set aside the federal government’s rejection of the project. However, Taseko has not been in a hurry to get to court on these two proceedings — instead, it has brought a series of preliminary motions that have slowed down and delayed the litigation for months and months. The Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG) has been there at every step. To date, Taseko has lost virtually every motion that it has brought.
2016 will tell the tale. The Federal Court set down a hearing for February 15, 2016 to hear all three preliminary motions. The two judicial reviews will be heard one after another by the same judge, hopefully in the summer or fall of 2016. Funds are needed now to finance the legal research, preparation and argument writing. The goal is to raise $150,000 - and no donation is too small to help!
There is a lot at stake. It is critical to demonstrate that environmental assessment can work, and companies like Taseko cannot overturn the results of a comprehensive environmental review (and the efforts of First Nations, concerned citizens and environmental organizations) simply by pouring its resources into litigation and outspending other parties until they get the result that they want. No must mean no.
Our Elders and ancestors have passed the responsibility to protect our lands and way of life on to us. It is not possible for us to agree to the destruction of the land that sustains us. ~ Marilyn Baptiste, Xeni Gwet'in First Nations Councillor and former Chief.
The legal issues at stake are groundbreaking as well. Among other far-reaching legal positions, Taseko has brought a constitutional challenge to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, arguing that the federal government cannot lawfully stop a project from proceeding on the basis of environmental concerns, if the province has approved the project. In essence, the company is attempting to drastically reduce the protection of our already gutted federal environmental protections.
Thanks to RAVEN donors, we are a giant step closer to stopping this threat to their pure and sacred mountain lake for a second and hopefully final time. The Tsilhqot’in Nation has very limited resources to take on a mining company in court, so every donation will make a substantial difference.
Together, we can – and will – protect Teztan Biny once and for all.