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Feds, First Nations meetings unfair: mining firm – Prince George Citizen

March 27, 2014

Taseko Mines alleges federal politicians and bureaucrats held inappropriate meetings with First Nations leaders prior to rejecting the proposed New Prosperity copper and gold mine.

In court documents filed Wednesday, the Vancouver-based mining company said principles of natural justice weren’t followed because federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq and other officials met with members of the Tsilhqot’in National Government in October, prior to a federal environmental assessment panel releasing a report critical of the mine. The company said First Nations leaders held further meetings with government politicians in February prior to cabinet’s ultimate rejection of the project.

“The decision-making process goes right through the panel process to the minister and in our case to the governor in council, the cabinet,” Taseko vice-president of corporate affairs Brian Battison said.

“In each of those steps we were owed a duty of fairness and that duty of fairness was failed to be delivered.”

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