Save Fish Lake! Sierra Club of BC

It doesn’t get any better than this: a clear blue lake teeming with rainbow trout, surrounded by lush forest providing an abundance of game, berries and medicinal plants.

To the Tsilhqot’in Nation, Fish Lake is a sacred place that has sustained them for generations.

To the Taseko mining company, it’s an answer to a very different prayer: a cheap dump site for acid tailings from the proposed Prosperity gold-copper mine.

Shenanigans like this used to be prohibited by the Fisheries Act – until it was amended in 2002 to allow lakes and other freshwater bodies to be re-classified as “tailings impoundment areas”.

Another twist to this sorry tale came in late May when the federal government tabled the budget bill, known as Bill C-9. Obscured in this huge and complex document were provisions aimed at gutting the federal Environmental Assessment Act. Proposed rules will grant the federal environment minister power to reduce the scope of reviews and put many infrastructure projects on an exemption list. Most shockingly, they would allow the government to avoid a full environmental assessment by breaking up major projects into smaller pieces – in direct contradiction of a recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling.

The legislation could be passed in early June.

Communities across Canada are fighting back to protect their life-sustaining water resources.

Watch Blue Gold, a short movie about the Tsilquot’in fight for Fish Lake (Tetzan Biny).

Watch a YouTube video of Tse Keh Ney elders telling the story of how they saved Amazay Lake near Smithers.

If you are concerned about Fish Lake and/or the devastation allowed by the gutting federal environmental protections,please write to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

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