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Pirate Party of Canada Condemns lawsuit based on Facebook updates

The Pirate Party of Canada condemns Thursday’s filing of a lawsuit by a mining company in British Columbia against its environmental critics on the basis of Facebook posts and website updates. The Wilderness Committee was founded as a non-profit organisation dedicated to preserving Canadian natural heritage more than thirty years ago. For the past twenty years, Taseko Mines has been trying to push through development of a mining project that has earned the ire of many Canadians. In the past, both sides have made compromises and adjusted their stances in good faith, when confronted by their opponent.

The Pirate Party does not take a stance on the development of the New Prosperity Mine, it is outside our sphere of interest. However we do take umbrage with Thursday’s filing of a lawsuit by Taseko Mines seeking to stifle online discussion fomented by the Wilderness Committee. The Internet is a place for the free exchange of ideas; where people are welcome to put forward their beliefs as long as they are willing to face those who believe
otherwise. The Wilderness Committee put forward its long-held beliefs about the dangers of the New Prosperity Mine on its website and facebook as a means of creating online dialogue - and when Taseko Mines pointed out several factual inaccuracies, the Wilderness Committee behaved properly in amending their arguments accordingly. It is likely that both sides believe the other’s position to be untenable and misrepresented, however the Wilderness Committee has never pursued a lawsuit on the basis of Taseko Mines’ Facebook updates on the New Prosperity Mine.

The National Campaign Director for the Wilderness Committee is correct when he states that this lawsuit is an attempt to silence online criticism. Taseko Mines may well be correct in believing that the dangers to which the Wilderness Committee alludes are overstated, however they are wrong to seek an injunction to have online conversations censored and removed due to their objections. It is a slippery slope once we allow a corporation to silence our national non-profit organisations’ criticisms.

Two years ago, the federal government’s review panel refused to issue an Environmental Assessment Certificate to the project, releasing a report that Reuters deemed “scathing” to Taseko Mines. Clearly the Wilderness Committee is not speaking alone when it says that there are environmental dangers inherent in the mining project. There is a controversy, and it will only be settled if both sides are allowed to speak freely and attempt to
correct the other’s misapprehensions or misrepresentations. But this must be accomplished by the honest exchange of dialogue, not lawsuits filed over
Facebook updates, that’s just being an asshole.

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Posted by Shawn Vulliez
Pirate Party of Canada / Parti Pirate du Canada

4 comments to Pirate Party of Canada Condemns lawsuit based on Facebook updates

  • Si

    I knew PPC would do the right thing!

  • Stitches

    Great statement, keep your heads high. This is a long way from over.

  • I fully understand the concerns of PPC.
    Only if I could become a member… I want a free membership, this is the only party in Canada I fully support.
    Great statement. :)

  • Well it would seem that Taseko Mines did not thing about the fallback to bad publicity. Most of it takes place on the internet and probably 90% of it on places like FB,Twitter,Tumblr etc. This is outrageous,these big corporate giants think that they can just bypass freedom.

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