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HomeNews100 Mile HouseFirst Nations on Mt. Polley temporary restart permit: "There's a lot of...

First Nations on Mt. Polley temporary restart permit: “There’s a lot of work that needs to be done.”

The last community meeting regarding Mt. Polley’s permit application for a temporary restart took place last week Thursday with First Nations in Sugarcane.

Councillor Rick Gilbert with the Williams Lake Indian Band, says although he personally would like to see the mine re-open at some point, so much still remains to be done before officials can even make that consideration.

“There’s a lot of clean-up that has to be done. It has to be proven there will never be a major catastrophe like this again.”

“There’s a lot of work that can be done before we’re satisfied that it will be ok to open again.”

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Councillor Willie Sellars, says one of First Nations biggest community and environmental concerns has to do with not only water management but also fishing.

“That’s a big part of our culture and traditions and how we live not only in summer but in the winter months.”

“That one right off the top of my head is the one ringing true in all of the community sessions that we’re having with our membership and people are concerned; people don’t want to eat the fish.”

“I mean like I said so far the tests have come back great and that’s awesome, but there’s still that hesitancy to trust the tests and eat the fish.”

The Williams Lake Indian Band has submitted their comments and concerns, according to Sellars.

“I think we have to have an on-going dialogue with not only the Ministry but also with the mine and how we’re going to move forward to make sure that our questions are being answered, our questions are being addressed before we even are able to contemplate having a mine like that restart.”

“The mine is very important to the economy in Williams Lake and that’s something to keep in mind but there’s also a lot of environmental concerns and community concerns that also need to be addressed.”

“We’re going to be here after all the people that are working here are gone to other places. We’ll always be here,” says Gilbert.

“This is our home. We want it taken care of.”

Public comment on Mt. Polley’s permit for a temporary restart of operations are due on May 2nd.


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