Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

The Common Sense Canadian: Liberal govt hubris handed Tsilhqot’in Nation bigger legal victory

The statue ‘Ivstitia’ (Justice) guards the entrance of the Supreme Court of Canada (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

The BC Liberal Government just couldn’t leave well enough alone. In choosing to appeal the Tsilhqot’in First Nation’s BC Supreme Court victory over land title and rights, the government set in motion a chain of events that could have profound consequences for its future resource development plans.

The Tsilhqot’in won a landmark legal victory affirming title and rights over 200,000 hectares of their traditional territory, west of Williams Lake, at the BC Supreme Court in 2007 (with limited rights to an even larger area). The 17-year case was the longest (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: SHAME: Harper Government Whitewashed Colombian Human Rights Abuses

by: Obert Madondo | May 20, 2014

To quote Amnesty International Canada’s Alex Neve: Canadian mining companies lead the mining world; but none aspire to lead the world in mining-related human rights abuses.

That’s serious human rights abuses committed by Canadian mining companies particularly in the developing world.

The Harper government had both the opportunity and obligation to highlight the serious mining-related human rights abuses happening in Colombia in its third annual Human Rights Impact Report for the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. The report is mandatory under the Canada-Colombia free trade deal, signed by the Conservatives and Colombian government (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe Mair: Howe Sound under siege

Boaters raise the alarm over plans to re-industrialize Howe Sound (Future of Howe Sound Society)

Howe Sound is Canada’s southernmost fjord. It is a natural beauty which should be declared a world-class heritage site.

I grew up as a child on Howe Sound and well remember the men with the herring rakes, raking out the herring for salmon bait. Speaking of the salmon, if you went fishing and didn’t catch one, you must’ve forgotten to put a spoon on your line.

Over the years, Howe Sound went downhill. Industry polluted and people became careless about the environment. The fish disappeared; (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Northwest Transmission Line: Environmental, financial boondoggle

According to new documents obtained via Freedom of Information search by the Vancouver Sun, the construction of the wildly over-budget, 344 km Northwest Transmission Line has been rife with environmental mismanagement. The line – which departs from a junction near Terrace, will carry power to a series of new mines in northwest BC, including the controversial Red Chris.

The above video, which I shot at the height of the line’s construction in 2012, demonstrates some of the myriad violations unearthed by the Sun. According to reporter Larry Pynn:

The documents identify a lack of sediment controls, potential for the spread of invasive plant species, smouldering burn (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Help Bring Bad Mining Companies to Court

Q’eqchi’ communities in Guatemala have been resisting the push of Canadian mining company HudBay Minerals into their land. This resistance has been met by dubious practices by the Toronto-based mining corporation and now they are being brought to court. A group supporting the Q’eqchi’ communities is looking to bring attention to this matter as well as gather signatures to present.

Sign the petition now!

Q’eqchi’ communities in the Izabal region of Guatemala have faced an onslaught of these and other abuses over the past five decades at the hands of a series of Canadian mining companies who have owned the (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Ajax Mine video featuring TRU dean unearths conflict

TRU’s dean of trades and technology is featured in an Ajax mine video (Youtube: Ajax Project )

The latest chapter in the controversial Ajax mine proposal planned for the edge of Kamloops, BC was released as a sleek corporate video titled “The Conversation” by mining company, KGHM International. “The Conversation” featured Lindsay Langill, the dean of trades and technology at Thompson Rivers University (TRU), where he publicly expressed his support for the Ajax mine project.

After the video was released earlier this month, TRU received many complaints about Langill’s statement in the video. Discussing the benefits Ajax would provide for (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Taseko appeals Prosperity Mine rejection…again

The location of Taseko’s proposed New Prosperity Mine, west of Williams Lake

VANCOUVER – The company behind a proposed B.C. gold and copper mine that was rejected twice by the federal government is asking the Federal Court to quash the environment minister’s decision.

Taseko Mines Ltd. (TSX:TKO) says it’s filing a second application for judicial review of the decision against the New Prosperity mine, which is proposed near Williams Lake, B.C.

Taseko’s Brian Battison says the federal environmental review process was unfair and led Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq to make the wrong decision when she said no to (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Taseko Mines “like a cancer that just won’t go away”

The Tsilhqot’in First Nation is fighting a seemingly never-ending battle to save their land

Read this Feb. 27 story from on Taseko Mines’ plan to appeal the second rejection by a federal review panel of its proposed Prosperity Mine.

Ottawa’s second rejection of an open pit gold and copper mine near Williams Lake, B.C. is drawing celebration, lament and promises from both sides to keep on fighting.

First Nations in the region are celebrating what they call a victory for the environment and their culture, but the B.C. Liberal government, which has lobbied hard for the (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: No prosperity for Taseko: Harper govt rejects BC mine

The location of Taseko’s proposed New Prosperity Mine, west of Williams Lake

After three years, several court cases, two project designs and as many federal reviews, the Harper government has rejected Taseko Mines’ controversial Properity Mine proposal for BC.

A statement issued earlier today on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s website noted that Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq “has concluded that the New Prosperity Mine project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects that cannot be mitigated.”

The Governor in Council has determined that those effects are not justified in the circumstances; therefore, the project may not proceed.

The original Prosperity Mine (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Giant Mine clean-up involves freezing underground arsenic

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

By Bob Weber, The Canadian Press

YELLOWKNIFE – Plans to clean up what may be Canada’s worst toxic site are moving ahead with changes suggested by those who live beside Yellowknife’s Giant Mine.

Last summer, a northern environmental regulator told the federal cabinet that it wasn’t entirely happy with Ottawa’s plans for the mine, which holds millions of tonnes of arsenic-contaminated waste on the shores of Great Slave Lake.

The Mackenzie Valley Review Board agreed freezing the underground arsenic in place is probably the best solution.

But it sided with aboriginal groups, territorial politicians and the City (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Thomas Berger leads watershed lawsuit v. Yukon development plan

Video by Damien Gillis; story by Dene Moore, The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER – A coalition of First Nations and conservation groups is suing the Yukon government over its decision to open a vast region of the Canadian North to mining and industrial development.

The group says the decision ignores a land-use plan seven years in the making.

A lawsuit was filed Monday in Yukon Supreme Court by the Nacho Nyak Dun, the Tr’ondek Hwech’in, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Yukon and the Yukon Conservation Society.

They say the plan released a week ago in Whitehorse violates the land-use planning (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: US woman sues Canadian mining titan Teck over toxins, disease

1988 image of effluent from Teck’s lead and Zinc smelter in Trail, BC (photo: Joel Rogers)

by Dene Moore, Canadian Press

VANCOUVER – A Washington state woman has filed a class-action lawsuit against Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B), claiming toxic pollutants from the company’s smelter in southeastern British Columbia are to blame for her breast cancer diagnosis and other health ailments.

Barbara Anderson is a longtime resident of Northport, Wash., a small community about 30 kilometres south of Teck’s lead and zinc smelter in Trail.

The lawsuit filed in the Eastern District Court says Anderson was diagnosed with breast cancer (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Taseko wants judicial review into Prosperity Mine’s harsh assessment

Fish Lake, near the proposed “New Prosperity” Mine in BC

VANCOUVER – Taseko Mines Ltd. (TSX:TKO) has formally requested a judicial review of a critical environmental assessment for the proposed New Prosperity copper-gold mine in the B.C. Interior.

The company said Monday it has filed the request with the Federal Court in Vancouver to comply with a 30-day time limit.

Taseko has objected to parts of the assessment, saying the panel based its conclusions on faulty information — failing to account for a design feature intended to prevent seepage of contaminant material from a tailings storage facility. Said the (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Teck smelter’s downstream US neighbours may sue over pollution, illness

1988 image of effluent from Teck’s lead and Zinc smelter in Trail, BC (photo: Joel Rogers)

Read this Nov. 25 story from on a potential lawsuit involving downstream pollution from a lead-zinc smelter owned by Teck Resources in Trail, BC.

Residents of a small town in northern Washington state may turn to courts to force a B.C. mining company to address what they say is a high prevalence of certain diseases in their community.

Northport, Washington, a town of about 375 people, is 30 kilometres downstream on the Columbia River from Teck Resources’ lead-zinc smelter in Trail, (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Athabasca River contaminated by Canada’s largest coal slurry spill

Read this Nov. 8 story from EcoWatch on what is quite possibly Canada’s largest coal slurry spill, which happened in late October near Hinton, Alberta.

A scary thing happened on Halloween near Hinton, Alberta. Canada had what may be the largest coal slurry spill in its history when a dam failed at the Obed Mountain coal mine and 264 million gallons (1 billion litres) of waste water contaminated at least 25 kilometers of the Athabasca river. Ten municipalities located downstream of the spill were warned not to withdraw raw drinking water from the Athabasca river until it was deemed safe. (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: No Prosperity for Taseko? Report should kill mine; company keeps digging

Xeni Gwet’in Chief Roger William is celebrating a scathing new environmental report on a proposed mine in his territory

A second, damning federal report on a proposed mine west of Williams Lake, BC, amid Tsilhqot’in First Nation territory, should sound the gold and copper mine’s death knell.

The report, which follows five weeks of hearings earlier this year into an updated version of the mine proposal, states:

…the New Prosperity Project would result in several significant adverse environmental effects; the key ones being effects on water quality in Fish Lake (Teztan Biny), onfish and fish habitat in Fish Lake, (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Mining Magnate calls for end of growth economy

Ross Beaty

Read this surprising Sept. 22 Vancouver Sun guest op-ed from one of Canada’s top mining tycoons, Ross Beaty, arguing for the end of growth and a new focus on building a steady-state economy.

No system can grow forever — neither human nor economic. Yet the pursuit of continuous growth has been the bedrock economic model of our time. Outdated and unsustainable, it is still advocated, recklessly and relentlessly, by federal, provincial and nearly all municipal governments.

To some extent, this is no surprise. Since its inception, B.C., like Canada as a whole, has enjoyed remarkable and (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Mining company steps back from Sacred Headwaters standoff

A group of Tahltans and their supporters peacefully occupied Fortune’s drill in early September

Fortune Minerals announced Monday it will voluntarily stand down from an escalating conflict with the local Tahltan First Nation. The Common Sense Canadian has been reporting on the standoff over a proposed mine in northwest BC’s Sacred Headwaters region since it began in August, when First Nations elders issued the company an eviction notice, demanding it cease exploratory drilling.

The Tahltan are upset at Fortune, which is seeking to build a controversial open-pit coal mine amid ecologically-sensitive territory. Perhaps even more so, they’ve been frustrated with Christy (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Arrests on horizon in First Nation’s Sacred Headwaters mine protest

Tahltan elders and supporters in the Sacred Headwaters (

Read this Sept. 20 story from the Vancouver Observer on the standoff over a proposed open-pit coal mine in BC’s Sacred Headwaters, which continues to escalate. The Common Sense Canadian has been reporting on the protest since it began last month.

A showdown between a Tahltan Elder-led First Nations group and a coal mining company in northwest B.C. is getting ugly, as protesters taunt Fortune Minerals Limited to have them arrested, a news release from the band said today.

“We dare Fortune to get us arrested! We have cameras here. (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Tahltan’s Sacred Headwaters defence has deep roots

The Sacred Headwaters (photo: Carr Clifton/ILCP)

Few places on our planet have been unaffected by humans. Satellite images taken from hundreds of kilometres above Earth reveal a world irrevocably changed by our land use over just the past few decades.

From Arctic tundra to primeval rainforest to arid desert, our natural world is being fragmented by ever-expanding towns and cities, roads, transmission lines and pipelines, and pockmarked by mines, pump jacks, flare stacks and other infrastructure used to drill, frack and strip-mine fossil fuels.

Areas that have remained relatively free of industrial development have thus taken on a special significance. (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: The End of Coal?

China is coal’s last great hope – but even that may be changing

by Jonathan Fahey

NEW YORK – The future of coal is getting darker.

Economic forces, pollution concerns and competition from cleaner fuels are slowly nudging nations around the globe away from the fuel that made the industrial revolution possible.

The U.S. will burn 943 million tons of coal this year, only about as much as it did in 1993. Now it’s on the verge of adopting pollution rules that may all but prohibit the construction of new coal plants. And China, which burns 4 billion tons (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: First Nations occupy mining equipment in Sacred Headwaters

Watch this video from Beyond Boarding – a group of adventure filmmakers who have been following Tahltan Nation opposition to a proposed open pit coal mine in their territory, referred to as the Sacred Headwaters.

The Common Sense Canadian has been reporting on the growing standoff between Tahltan members and Fortune Minerals, over the company’s mining exploration activities, some 400 km northeast of Prince Rupert.

At issue is Fortune’s plan to blow the top off of Mt. Klappan – a sacred place for Tahltans – for mining anthracite coal. On August 14, a group of elders and their supporters issued the (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: First Nations fire back at Taseko CEO’s insults

Xeni Gwetin Chief Roger William at a Vancouver court case in 2011

Read this Sept. 6 rebuttal in the Vancouver Sun by Tsilqot’in National Government Chair Joe Alphonse to an earlier op-ed by Taseko Mines’ CEO Russ Hallbauer which dismissed First Nations’ concerns about his proposed “New Prosperity Mine”.

A recent op-ed by the President of Taseko Mines Ltd., Russ Hallbauer, argues that the overwhelming First Nations’ opposition to its controversial New Prosperity mine proposal is the result of “misinformed testimony by special interests” (Taseko seeks path forward for New Prosperity, Sept. 3).

This position is insulting, (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: 9 year old’s plea to CEO of proposed Sacred Headwaters mine

This recent video from Beyond Boarding – a group of self-described “snowboarders making positive change” – shows 9-year-old Caden Jakesta and several other members of the Tahltan Nation in northwest BC conveying their concerns about a proposed mine in the Sacred Headwaters to the mining company’s CEO. The birthplace of three of BC’s largest salmon rivers – the Skeena, the Nass and the Stikine – the region is threatened by Fortune Minerals’ proposed open pit anthracite coal mine.

The Common Sense Canadian recently reported that emergency talks between members of the First Nation and Fortune’s CEO, Robin Goad, only heightened tensions (Read more…)

LeDaro: Mining and sinkholes

There is plenty of material on shale-gas fracking which causes air pollution, water pollution, gas in tap-water and all kinds of health problems. It has also caused earthquakes in certain parts of the U.S.

In Louisiana, U.S. mining in general is causing sink-holes. What next? What more damage these mining companies will do? All that matters for the mining companies is profiteering. Here is an interesting video on Louisiana mining and sinkholes.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy . . . → Read More: LeDaro: Mining and sinkholes