(supplied by Tsilhqot'in National Government)
An application for an injunction by Taseko Mines Limited (TML) will be heard in B.C. Supreme Court on Tuesday, July 16.
Vice President of Corporate Affairs Brian Battison confirmed the date to MyCaribooNow late Friday afternoon.
“On Tuesday morning of this week there was an illegal roadblock that prevented us from getting to our property and performing work which we’ve been authorized to do by the Government of British Columbia,” Battison said earlier.
“So we met that roadblock and turned around and we’ve been wondering what options are available to us and it seems that when actions to a public road have been illegally blocked one of the potential solutions is to seek an injunction. So today we have instructed our legal counsel to apply for an injunction to permit us to access our property and do the work that we were permitted to do.”
Tribal Chairman of the Tsilhqot’in National Government, Chief Joe Alphonse said that the peaceful action was to prevent the situation from getting out of control.
He said although the proposed New Prosperity mine project is dead and cannot be built, TML still wants to come in and tear up a place that is as sacred to the Tsilhqot’in Nation as a church.
“It’s an unfortunate situation that when a person wants to access their property and they have a legal right to access their property and to drive on a public road, that they’re impeded from doing that. I mean that’s a frustration for anybody and that’s certainly the case here, so we’re doing the only things available to us and that is to try and seek passage on that road,” Battison said.
“Tensions should not be rising or at least there shouldn’t be any need for that to go after all we’re just going to our property to gather some rock and soil samples and undertake work that’s very similar, in fact, identical to work that’s been done out there for the last several decades so its not a new type of work.”
Xeni Gwet’in Chief Jimmy Lulula said earlier this week that the Tsilhqot’in Nation is calling on the B.C. Government to step up and take active steps to resolve the conflict.
“Nowhere else has a Nation been subjected to not one but two federal environmental reviews, both confirming the cultural and spiritual importance of this place to our people, and which led to two federal rejections of the mine,” Lulula said in a news release.
“We are looking for the same kind of leadership in Premier John Horgan now. The Province of BC has the tools they need to intervene, but until now appeared unwilling to show leadership and resolve this conflict once and for all. Now is the time to finally act.”