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Public hearings on mine proposal will include Tsilhqot’in documentary – The Tyee

Byline: Andrew MacLeod

Taseko Mines Ltd. has failed in its bid to prevent a documentary about the Tsilhqot’in people’s connection to Teztan Biny, or Fish Lake, from being shown at a public hearing on a mine proposal southwest of Williams Lake.

The federal review panel this morning dismissed Taseko’s motion that last week asked that the film Blue Gold: The Tsilhqot’in Fight for Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) not be shown at the public hearing, said Jay Nelson, a Victoria lawyer acting for the TNG, in an email. “It held that its rules of procedure did not prohibit presenting information in this form,” he said.

A lawyer acting for Taseko did not respond to a message by posting time. The submission to the panel said Blue Gold is a “propaganda film, produced to influence the opinions or behaviour of people, by providing deliberately biased content in an emotional context,” the Tyee reported.

The film’s director, Susan Smitten, said she laughed when she heard the company’s lawyer had called the film “propaganda.” 

“The film’s power comes in its authenticity,” she said. It was made as a way to help the Tsilhqot’in people express what the threatened lake means to them, she said. “They come from a position of love.”

Views of Blue Gold tripled the day after Taseko asked that the film be kept out of the hearing, she said. Filmed in two days with a budget under $10,000, it has been watched by people around the world, she said. 

The film can be seen on the Hook or on Vimeo. It will be shown during the panel’s evening hearings on March 24.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria.

To read comments posted on The Tyee’s site, click here. 

Blue Gold can be viewed on RAVEN – click here for the link. 

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