In recognition that our resources belong to everyone, Watson Lake residents are supporting and eagerly looking forward to the current proposal by Selwyn Resources to put its large lead-zinc deposit at Howard’s Pass into full production.
This will most certainly have a positive and welcome effect upon our regional economy.
Recent negative statements attributed by the media to Liard First Nation Chief Liard McMillan evidently opposing this development leave many of us puzzled and disturbed.
Because of its geographic location along the Yukon/NWT border, we can understand and appreciate the importance and benefits that will properly accrue to the Ross River First Nation.
However, it is difficult to understand what official position would ever involve the Liard First Nation, which is situated so far to the south of this massive, yet-to-be-developed ore body.
To date, native and nonnative area residents continue to recognize and share in dealing with joint community responsibilities, particularly when dealing with matters relating to local elections, administration, taxation, etc. It is only fair that residents should now be able to individually and collectively share in some of the rewards which might arise from this exciting new undertaking.
I would suggest that McMillan might more properly turn his concerns toward dealing with some of his own local commitments, such as long-promised housing for First Nation seniors, payment of long-delinquent municipal taxes to Watson Lake respecting its band office, hotels, etc. If McMillan is speaking for his people and not just himself, he most certainly has an obligation to join the rest of the community in offering Selwyn Resources every possible assistance and encouragement in early development of this vast resource.
I am confident his people would agree.
Donald E. Taylor, citizens’ advocate