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The Prosperity Mine debate: can economic growth and environmental stewardship coexist?

prosperity mine.jpg
An image of the New Prosperity Mine site and Fish Lake prior to mine development. (Contributed by:Taseko Mines Limited)

The Prosperity gold and copper Mine in the Williams Lake-area is getting another chance.

In November, 2010, Environment Minister Jim Prentice and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency rejected the Taseko Mines' project because of the damage it would cause to Fish Lake and nearby streams.

But on Monday, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has decided to review a second proposal put forward by Taseko mines that the company says would spare Fish Lake.

The huge project would provide hundreds of jobs and give an economic boost to the area, but  it is not without its detractors, who say the environemntal costs are too high.

Annie Booth teaches at U-N-B-C and specializes in environmental ethics. She told Daybreak host Chris Walker she's not surprised the New Prosperity Mine will get a second chance, given the current polictical climate and market for copper and gold products.

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Meanwhile, First Nations groups aren't convinced Taseko's new proposal is any different from the last, and say it doesn't do enough to protect the area surrounding the mine site. Marilyn Baptiste is the Chief of the Xeniqwet'in First Nation Band.

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But mine proponent, Walter Cobb says he believes there is a way for economic growth and environmental stewardship to live in harmony. He's also running for mayor of Williams Lake in the upcoming civic elections.

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