Revenue sharing questions raised

The B.C. government is now arbitrarily sharing mining royalties with several Aboriginal groups in B.C.

Dear Editor:

Re: A recent article by Robert Roach, “British Columbia’s LNG industry – boom or sonic boom?”

The article stated in part that to achieve success, “industry and government must work together — and quickly.”

However, there was no mention of another component that will have considerable impact on the proposed revenue flow and net benefit to the B.C. government.

The B.C. government is now arbitrarily sharing mining royalties with several Aboriginal groups in B.C.

Not to mention that one of our Crown Corporations, B.C. Hydro, an integral part of the B.C. government, also has agreed to revenue sharing with random groups of Aboriginals.

It would be unrealistic to entertain that the B.C. government would not be prepared to share the LNG royalties with the Aboriginals as well.

Having conceded those royalties to the Aboriginals, without first having established rights to titles, and resources that belong to all of us, the B.C. government has arbitrarily allowed the Indians a virtual veto over resource development in our province.

Taseko is estimated to already having spent in excess of $100 million in preparation to build the Prosperity mine near Williams Lake, while being stonewalled by governments and Aboriginals.

Taseko is a well established B.C. copper miner, and is by many considered the bellwether for the mining industry in B.C.

If Taseko does not get the permits required to proceed with this billion dollar project, mining in B.C. will very likely become dormant for a long time.

Uncertainty is hovering like dark clouds over all resource development in B.C. and begs the questions: How many of these projects will be vetoed by the Aboriginals, and how big a share of those desperately needed royalty dollars is Premier Clark arbitrarily going to give the Aboriginal groups?

Andy Thomsen

Summerland