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Taseko SLAPP over Fish Lake fight

Wilderness Committee defends against Taseko SLAPP over Fish Lake fight

Thursday, March 22, 2012

VANCOUVER – Dan Burnett, the Wilderness Committee’s lawyer, today filed defence papers with the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The Wilderness Committee’s defence answers Taseko Mines Ltd.’s Notice of Civil Claim that had been served on the Wilderness Committee March 1, 2012. Taseko has claimed that the Wilderness Committee has defamed Taseko in an Internet alert in early 2012 about saving the Fish Lake area from a proposed open pit mine.
“What the Wilderness Committee is asking the courts to do in its filed Response to the Claim is uphold the Wilderness Committee’s right to free speech on this important environmental issue, dismiss the action and impose extra court costs upon Taseko for attempting to use the litigation process to silence critics,” said Burnett.
“We are saying that this threat of court action by Taseko Mines Ltd. is aimed at silencing critics such as the Wilderness Committee from speaking out in the debate over protecting the Fish Lake area from the company’s proposed New Prosperity Mine,” said Joe Foy, National Campaign Director for the Wilderness Committee. “This court threat eats away at the very foundations of democracy and free speech that our society is based on,” said Foy.
In the company’s Notice of Civil Claim, Taseko alleged that the Wilderness Committee had made a number of defamatory statements – including a claim that the company planned to use Little Fish Lake as a toxic tailings pond.
“In fact, Taseko has published plans for it’s New Prosperity Mine that calls for inundating Little Fish Lake under a massive toxic tailings pond that will wipe out a great deal of fish habitat and pollute a great deal of water. That’s a plain fact that people should be allowed to write about and speak about without fear that court papers will arrive in the mail from some corporation that doesn’t want public debate threatening profits,” said Foy.
Joe Foy, National Campaign Director, Wilderness Committee: Cell 604-880-2580 or 604-683-8220 (w)