Browsing articles tagged with " wine festivals"
Dec 25, 2013
Terri Judson

America’s top cities in 2013

San Franciscans might not need to exchange gifts this year: their city is already a treasure. But according to Movoto, SF can’t claim to be America’s best—more like 4th best. And on the list of top 10, it’s the only Bay Area city mentioned.

Not your normal data

Movoto doesn’t claim to be rating American metropolitan areas on income vs. cost of living, nor on job prospects vs. unemployment rates. Those have already been done to death. Their study is a bit less ubiquitous.

Where other lame overall best cities rankings factor in things like wine festivals and antique stores, or focus solely on boring stats like unemployment rates or cost of living, ours is all about the things we think make metros special.

Data used here came from other Movoto studies, like “Best Dressed,” “Most Family Friendly,” “Healthiest,” “Nerdiest,” not to mention “Most Movie Loving” and “Most Steampunk.” While not in any way purported as science, certainly the survey captures what’s happening in American cities today, and how each city sets itself apart from the rest.

Cost of Housing

Movoto doesn’t use home price data in its study, but we thought, hey, why not. Portland, OR enjoyed a median home price of $300K from September of this year through December. Atlanta, GA saw prices at $231K during the same time. Seattle’s was $414,781. Meanwhile, San Francisco clocked in at $851K. Interesting data to consider, really, because it seems that enough people still consider S.F. the best city in the USA. They’re certainly willing to pay for it.

Anna Marie Erwert writes from both the renter and new buyer perspective, having (finally) achieved both statuses. She focuses on national real estate trends, specializing in the San Francisco Bay Area and Pacific Northwest. Follow Anna on Twitter: @AnnaMarieErwert

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Dec 25, 2013
Terri Judson

Sip and dine on the slopes at the Winter Okanagan Wine Festival

Take cool, white wines and marry them with crisp, white snow and warm, full-bodied reds and place them in cozy, fireside restaurants.

These are the harmonious pairings discovered at Sun Peaks during the 16th Annual Winter Okanagan Wine Festival from Jan. 11 to 19.

Experience 10 days designed to tempt your palate with a series of events to educate, thrill and fill your soul with award winning British Columbian wine, food and hospitality.

“We have a waiting list because there are so many wineries that want to participate this year,” said Lori Pike-Raffan, Okanagan Wine Festivals Society public relations director. “About half of the 30 participating wineries are coming from the South Okanagan.”

Sun Peaks’ expansive mountain terrain and endless outdoor winter recreation opportunities are the perfect backdrop for the wineries of the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society and local chefs to prepare an elevated après ski experience found nowhere else.

“This is a really cool event that started out as just a one-weekend event and over the years it has come to be so popular they have expanded it to the 10 days, adding new events. This year alone there are seven new events,” said Pike-Raffan.

With many memorable events, including the flagship Sun Peaks Progressive Wine Tasting presented by WestJet, plan to stay a few nights for a very unique alpine break.

Over 9,000 past attendees can attest this is one of the best wine parties of the year combining progressive wine tasting, fresh mountain air while wandering around the village tasting wines from 24 B.C. producers.

Kicking off the event on Jan. 11 is the Comforts of Grilled Cheese and Wine at Morrisey’s Public House.

In the winter, a warm grilled cheese sandwich is one of those authentic comfort foods that goes so well with pares ski. The Dairy Farmers of Canada will serve eight different Canadian grilled cheese sandwiches paired with a B.C. wine. Guests will vote for their favourite combo.

Follow that up on Jan. 12 enjoying the Starbucks Sparkling Brunch at Delta Sun Peaks Resort Hotel or spend the afternoon combining your love of wine, food and art at Hearthstone Lodge.

Peter Stuhlmann, a professional acrylic artist will introduce over a dozen of his original art works, demonstrating his painting technique from photo sketch to final product all while guests enjoy tasting select Okanagan wines and Bella Italia appies.

Experience the magic of a winter’s night on a moonlight snowshoe tour, including a delicious campfire treat of s’mores. This one-kilometre guided tour takes guests through beautiful forest trails right to a roaring fire, mulled wine at a cozy winter camp.

Foodies can also rejoice at the Jan. 15 Taste of the Thompson, which has been elevated to new heights this year to include an expanded culinary roster with chefs from nearby Kamloops.

The evening will be an impressive showcase of regional chefs and wines of B.C. For more information on these events, and to view a full listing of the Winter Okanagan Wine Festival events at Sun Peaks Resort, or to purchase tickets visit www.thewinefestivals.com or www.sunpeaksresort.com.

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Dec 21, 2013
Terri Judson

Portland tops the greatest list ever



Portland was crowned America's Best City of 2013 by the real estate blog Movoto.

Portland was crowned America’s Best City of 2013 by the real estate blog Movoto.





Suzanne Stevens
Digital managing editor- Portland Business Journal

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Sure, landing in the top 10 on one of the many, many lists ranking cities on everything from pet friendliness to beer to snappy dressing is fine. And Portland is almost always in the mix.

But Portland’s spot on a list released Thursday is definitely one worth crowing about.

Portland is officially the greatest city in the world — well, the U.S. anyway. Take that No. 2 Atlanta. How’s the air back there No. 3 Seattle. Whoops, hope we didn’t kick up too much dust No. 4 San Francisco. Is that you back there Washington, D.C.?

This distinction comes from the folks at Movoto, a real estate blog and a prolific ranker.

Movoto did a mashup of all of its 2013 Big Deal Lists to make the call. Those lists include Worst Dressed Cities, Nerdiest Cities, Most Exciting Cities and Most Saintly Cities. You can see how Portland ranked on all 15 of them here.

Here’s how Movoto describes the methodology of its America’s 10 Best Cities for 2013 list:

“Where other lame overall best cities rankings factor in things like wine festivals and antique stores, or focus solely on boring stats like unemployment rates or cost of living, ours is all about the things we think make metros special—backed up by cold, hard data and produced through our patented process of Saturday Night Science.”

So go ahead Portland, crow and enjoy the moment. And stay cool, very cool, in 2014. Coming in No. 2 next year would be a real downer.

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Dec 20, 2013
Terri Judson

DriveBC alert: Highway 5 northbound

The Government of British Columbia has confirmed the remaining six dates for the consultation forums to right historical wrongs against the Chinese community. 

Feedback from the forums will be used by the government to form an appropriate apology to be read in the provincial legislature, and supported by all parties in the BC government. 

Honourable Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism, will travel to various communities and engage with Chinese citizens and associations who were directly or indirectly affected by prejudicial legislation. 

The Chinese community in BC suffered legislated inequality and discrimination in periods between 1885-1947. Multiple forms of discriminatory legislation were imposed including the Chinese Immigration Act (1885) and the Chinese Exclusion Act (1923), restricting Chinese individuals from entering Canada. 

Since 2002, over $9.1 million has been spent on funding programs and initiatives promoting multiculturalism, addressing racism and building inclusive communities in the province. 

BC is one of the most ethnically diverse provinces in Canada, welcoming nearly 40,000 new immigrants each year. 

The Apology for Historical Wrongs forums are open to the public, and are listed below. 

Victoria                 Sunday, November 17, 2013         Consolidated Chinese Benevolent Association
                             2:00 – 4:00 p.m.                            636 Fisgard Street
                                                                                   Victoria, BC V8W 1R6

Kamloops             Thursday, December 19, 2013      Coast Kamloops Hotel Conference Centre
                             7:00 – 9:00 p.m.                            1250 Rogers Way 
                                                                                   Kamloops, BC V1S 1N5

Vancouver           Sunday, January 12 , 2014            Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver
                            2:00 – 4:00 p.m.                             50 E Pender St 
                                                                                   Vancouver, BC V6A 3V6

Kelowna               Tuesday, January 14, 2014           Best Western Plus Kelowna Hotel Suites
                             5:00 – 7:00 p.m.                            2402 Hwy 97 North
                                                                                   Kelowna, V1X 4J1

Burnaby               Monday, January 20, 2014             Metro Town Hilton
                             7:00 – 9:00 p.m                             6083 McKay Ave
                                                                                   Burnaby, V5H 2W7

Prince George     Wednesday, January 22, 2014      Civic Centre – Room 208
                            7:00 – 9:00 p.m.                             808 Civic Plaza
                                                                                   Prince George, BC V2L 5T6

Richmond            Tuesday, January 28, 2014            Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport
                            7:00 – 9:00 p.m.                             8181 Cambie Road
                                                                                   Richmond, B.C. V6X 3X9

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Dec 20, 2013
Terri Judson

Denver ranks 7th best place in quirky city ratings

Denver, in a tie with San Diego, has been named the seventh-best place to live in the United States by the Movoto Real Estate Blog.

Movoto said it didn’t want to consider just the best overall but “the best for all sorts of things, from folks who like battling with giant foam swords to certified brainiacs, and even really snappy dressers.”

It said that while other “lame overall best cities rankings” like to factor in such things as wine festivals and antique stores, or focus solely on “boring stats like unemployment rates, ours is all about the things we think make metros special.”

Movoto said it looked at 50 cities considering 15 categories and came to its conclusions.

And in picking Denver, Movoto issued an apology because Denver ranks fifth for “Meat Lovers.”

“Denver is the Mile High City, and in the case of our data, we’re looking at a mile high stack of meat products,” the analysis said. “We apologize for the beefy, salty mental imagery, but we can’t help the fact that Denver’s highest-ranked category was Meat Lovers.”

Movoto said that fortunately, the Mile High City was served with a side of “Funniest” and “Steampunk” — where it placed sixth in both.

And: “Despite all the potentially artery-clogging food stuff, Denver managed a ninth place finish for both ‘Healthiest’ and ‘Smartest.’ “

In other categories, Denver ranked 14th for “Most Exciting,” 22nd for “Hardest Working,” 23rd for “Most Saintly,” 39th for “Family Friendly,” 45th for “Home Buyers,” eighth for “Movie Lovers,” 10th for “Nerdiest,” 13th for “Preppiest” and 14th for “Best Dressed”.

The top-ranked city was Portland, Ore., followed by Atlanta, Seattle, San Francisco, Washington, Denver/San Diego, Miami and Las Vegas.

Howard Pankratz: 303-954-1939, hpankratz@denverpost.com or twitter.com/howardpankratz

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Dec 20, 2013
Terri Judson

Photo: Contributed – Google Street View

The Government of British Columbia has confirmed the remaining six dates for the consultation forums to right historical wrongs against the Chinese community. 

Feedback from the forums will be used by the government to form an appropriate apology to be read in the provincial legislature, and supported by all parties in the BC government. 

Honourable Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism, will travel to various communities and engage with Chinese citizens and associations who were directly or indirectly affected by prejudicial legislation. 

The Chinese community in BC suffered legislated inequality and discrimination in periods between 1885-1947. Multiple forms of discriminatory legislation were imposed including the Chinese Immigration Act (1885) and the Chinese Exclusion Act (1923), restricting Chinese individuals from entering Canada. 

Since 2002, over $9.1 million has been spent on funding programs and initiatives promoting multiculturalism, addressing racism and building inclusive communities in the province. 

BC is one of the most ethnically diverse provinces in Canada, welcoming nearly 40,000 new immigrants each year. 

The Apology for Historical Wrongs forums are open to the public, and are listed below. 

Victoria                 Sunday, November 17, 2013         Consolidated Chinese Benevolent Association
                             2:00 – 4:00 p.m.                            636 Fisgard Street
                                                                                   Victoria, BC V8W 1R6

Kamloops             Thursday, December 19, 2013      Coast Kamloops Hotel Conference Centre
                             7:00 – 9:00 p.m.                            1250 Rogers Way 
                                                                                   Kamloops, BC V1S 1N5

Vancouver           Sunday, January 12 , 2014            Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver
                            2:00 – 4:00 p.m.                             50 E Pender St 
                                                                                   Vancouver, BC V6A 3V6

Kelowna               Tuesday, January 14, 2014           Best Western Plus Kelowna Hotel Suites
                             5:00 – 7:00 p.m.                            2402 Hwy 97 North
                                                                                   Kelowna, V1X 4J1

Burnaby               Monday, January 20, 2014             Metro Town Hilton
                             7:00 – 9:00 p.m                             6083 McKay Ave
                                                                                   Burnaby, V5H 2W7

Prince George     Wednesday, January 22, 2014      Civic Centre – Room 208
                            7:00 – 9:00 p.m.                             808 Civic Plaza
                                                                                   Prince George, BC V2L 5T6

Richmond            Tuesday, January 28, 2014            Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport
                            7:00 – 9:00 p.m.                             8181 Cambie Road
                                                                                   Richmond, B.C. V6X 3X9

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Dec 20, 2013
Terri Judson

2013 attendance at Savor the Central Coast climbs 5.8%

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San Luis Obispo County’s fourth annual Savor the Central Coast again posted growth in attendance and revenue.

The four-day food and wine event, presented by Visit San Luis Obispo County and Sunset magazine, hosted more than 10,500 guests at the Santa Margarita Ranch from Sept. 26 to Sept. 29, reflecting a 5.8 percent increase over 2012.

Revenues from the event boosted the local economy by $4.5 million, a 27.2 percent increase over last year, according to event organizers. It generated $71,072 in estimated local sales tax, and out-of-town attendees spent an average $372.40 on lodging.

“Sunset Savor the Central Coast has risen to become one of the regions’ most unique wine and food events, creating lasting experiences for tourists to San Luis Obispo County,” Stacie Jacob, executive director of Visit San Luis Obispo County, said in a statement. “As the area’s signature event, Savor creates national recognition for local tourism, positioning the Central Coast and its unique places as a top destination.”

Organizers for the event, now ranked among the nation’s top food and wine festivals, are already working on plans for 2014. The fifth annual event, slated for Sept. 25 to Sept. 28, will focus on the main activities at Santa Margarita Ranch and include adventure tours, special dinners and VIP events throughout the county.

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Dec 20, 2013
Terri Judson

Maryland’s DeJon Vineyards looking to new year to begin expansion – Patriot

Three and a half years in, co-owner/wine maker John Wilkerson at DeJon Vineyards in Hydes, Md., says he feels like the winery has turned another corner.

“I think we’re starting to see a loyal customer base,” he said by phone late Wednesday afternoon. “We’re pretty excited about the way our customer base has increased. We’re over 2500 people on our email list now [and 1,000 likes on Facebook]. This Friday night event, as a matter of fact, is already sold out. First time we’ve done that. so things are picking up.”

This is a winery that has suffered the growing pains of a normal business. One year it was an early frost that took out most of their vines. Another year it was blight. John and wife Denise run the place, the latter while working a full-time job. What they have managed to do, through a combination of consistency with events and old-fashioned customer service, is survive.

That has the couple now looking at potential growth in 2014. Wilkerson said they have only sold their product to date at their winery, in a renovated barn on the property, but will explore placing their wines in liquor stores and restaurants next year. That, of course, means ramping up production, so they are in the process of getting set up to make more wine.

“I think we’ll be fairly successful with that,” he said of the plans. “We’ve had liquor stores call us and ask to get our wine. The other thing we’re getting a lot of now is people calling us and saying, ‘Hey, somebody gave me a bottle of your wine’ or ‘I bought one at one of the wine festivals, where can I get it? I live out here in Columbia or Ellicott City or whatever. Where do you sell it out here? So we’re getting more and more of that.’ And, of course, we don’t sell it out there.

“So, I think it will be successful. It will be a lot more than we’re selling now, which is zero,” he added. “It’s worth the try, but the first thing obviously is you gotta have the inventory in order to do that, so that’s what we’re working on now.”

DeJon brings in much of its juice, drawing from Maryland vineyards such as Galloping Goose. Last year they brought in some Malbec (known as one of the Bordeaux varietals) from Chile and bottled it, and it sold well, he said. “So that’s something I would consider doing again,” he said. Among several of the winery’s other popular wines are its Sweet Denise, a semi-dry white made from Vidal Blanc grapes, and Festivus, a semi-sweet red made out of Chambourcin grapes from Maryland.

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Dec 19, 2013
Terri Judson

Expats In Budapest: Alina, Irina And Maria – Xpatloop.com – Expat Life…

We’d like to introduce you to three young and beautiful Russian expats living in Budapest. Since these women moved to Budapest a long time ago, they are well acquainted with Hungarian language and culture. Plus, these three are good friends. Alina, Irina, and Maria tell about their lives in the city.

What’s your story? Where do you come from? Why Budapest?

Alina: I was born in Ukrain, my dad comes from Kárpátalja. I moved to Hungary in 2005 right after finishing high school. I went to universtiy here, I met great people, and finally I receieved Hungarian citizenship. It was hard first because I didn’t speak the language as well as I do know, but the city has become more and more international, since I’ve lived here. I feel good here: working and enjoying life.

Irina: I can say my story is quite average. In 1999 my father decided to move to Hungary due to his work. I’m originally from Jekatyerinburg, Russia, which is in the middle of Ural Mountains. I’ve been here for about 15 years. I went to high school and university here, and now I am working.

Maria: I was born in Moscow 32 years ago. We decided to move here beacuse my dad, who is an artist, had better work opportunities here. My mother and I joined him when I was 10. It was hard at first beacuse I had to go to school, and I didn’t speak the language at all. I had 3 months to learn it to keep pace with the other Hungarian students. In addition, at that time many people had negative opinions about Russians due to the political situation, and some teachers shared these opinions with me. Of course the kids weren’t like that, unless their parents had influenced them. But this whole experience helped to improve me and made me proud to be a Russian, with a strong Hungarian influence. By the way, even now I feel like a total stranger, who doesn’t really belong anywhere, but it isn’t a bad thing. In any case, if I ever want to go, it’ll be easy to leave everything behind and build something new somewhere else.

How well do you speak the language?

Alina: Very well now. I had 5 years to learn it in a passive way, and 3 years to practice. Hungarian has a very different logic when compared to other languages I speak. It took some time, but eventually I figured it out. When I finally began to see the logic, the whole thing became much easier. Iriana and I have a project right now: we’re trying to get our driver’s licenses in Hungarian. This is a big test of our knowledge. My favourite Hungarian word is „kamásli,” which was very surprising to me the first time I heard it.

Irina: I never went to a Hungarian school, even my job is in English. But I think if you live in a country, it is your duty to learn the language spoken there. I speak Hungarian well but I want to improve. Plus, my inseparable Russian accent adds a special sound when I speak Hungarian. My favourtie word is „pofátlan” and „ciki,” becuase these words cannot be expressed so clearly in other languages. I also like complicated words like „törülköző” and „kényelmetlen”.

Maria: I speak a perfect Hungarian, some people say like a native. My favourite word is „rettenetes”. Not just because of the pronounciation but also its meaning. You can’t convey the same meaning so easily in English or in Russian.

What do you like the most in Budapest?

Alina: it’s a beautiful city with something special: it sparkles. I like the street food, and there are many opportunities to have fun here.

Irina: I like the diversity. There are many, many possibilities here. You can literally find everything here. This city is full of cool places, events, concerts… and, of course, wine festivals! Besides as an expat, I really enjoy of the cosmopolitan feeling of the city. We are right here in the middle of Europe, but people come from everywhere and that makes the city a very interesting place to live. And I have to mention the architecture! The shore of Danube amaze me everytime.

Maria: The best thing about Budapest is that the cultural life has improved so much since I’ve been here. Plus, this is a beautiful city as well, with unbelievable architecture, and I think it beats all the European capitals. People are becoming more and more open. There are huge amount of possibilities if you want to travel or have fun.

And what you don’t like?

Alina: The first thing that came into my mind was the service. Sometimes I feel like I’m the one who has to be thankful when my order comes.

Irina: This newly formed „party-city” image. This city has so many possibilities, and we shouldn’t narrow it only to the night life. It’s not obviously a problem, but it changes the attitude of the travelers here. On the other hand, even though Budapest is a modern and cool city, it still has a very „eastern” outlook compared to the western neighbours. An example of this is the importance placed on appearance, recognition, and power instead of on credibility.

Maria: I’d highlight the service in certain clubs, restaurants, taxis and stores. My experience is that people are pokey, lazy and don’t really care about anything. Maybe if I were Hungarian, I wouldn’t recognize this behavior. Agression and the lack of empathy bothers me. I’m made to feel that I am a bad person if I use my bank card. I can see the people behind me in line roll their eyes, and it often happens that somebody bumps into me in the street and don’t even say that they are sorry. Also sometimes if I speak Russian, people say something rude because they don’t think that I can understand what they are saying.

What is your opinion about the locals? Do you get along with them?

Alina: I have different experiences. I’ve met some really nice people, but naturally I’ve met the opposite too.

Irina: it’s complicated. Actually, I find Hungarians friendly, amusing and intelligent, but there is a big difference in mentality between us. Despite the growing international presence, lots of people here are fed by their own nation’s behavioral pattern and keep distance from foreigners. There are other problems in the mentality too: lots of Hungarians are passive, negative, and complaining about problems that don’t really exist instead of just moving on and enjoying life.

Maria: Since so many people live in Budapest, you can run into every type of person. Some of them are nice, friendly, helpful and funny. Other ones, well, let’s just say that you want to stay away from them.

If you were a superhero, what would you change on?

Alina: The service. I think it should be more positive, helpful and happier.

Irina: I would put sunshine into people. I’d like to see more smiles, more energy, more freedom and self-confidence.

Maria: Nothing. I’d like to do kung-fu to protect myself. Being a superhero can be very exhausting. You help people, save them, but you can’t change them. I’d be happier if people learned by themselves how to see the sunny side of the life – not losing the hope – put away the prejudices and just helping each other.

Favourite places?

Alina: When I first came here, I was surprised by how many beautiful places there are. My favourites are Duna-part, Erzsébet-híd, Lánchíd and the baths. I also like the smaller places in Hungary, like Szentendre and Győr. I like hiking at the Rám-szakadék or Holdivlág-árok.

Irina: Duna-part, Lánchíd, Római-part…actually, all the places with nice views. Gellérthegy, Normafa, Vár… These are the best.

Maria: There are many. I love the downtown, walking on Andrássy street, watching people from cafés. I also like the Budai Vár. It’s good to look down to the city from Halászbástya at night. Budapest is a gift. If I were a tourist, I would come back again and again.

What do you think about the night life of Budapest?

Alina: It was great to see how Budapest became a ruin pub high power. You can go anywhere, from retro discos to modern clubs. The best thing is you never know where will you end up during the night.

Irina: Budapesters are really come alive at night. There are many choices here: lots of venues, music to suit all tastes, and it seems that there is always a new kid in the block. I like that it’s easy to find a place on any budget. Even good places are not so expensive, like they would be elsewhere. Bravo, Budapest!

Maria: Rich. Everyone can find the style and place they like. You can be under 20, over 40, it doesn’t matter. If I go out, I like the same places as my friends. We like to hang out near Bazilika, Váci utca, Deák tér, Oktogon and Óbuda.

Will you stay forever?

Alina: I don’t have an „eternal” perspective. Budapest is wonderful though, and I’m not going to attempt to go away.

Irina: „forever” is a strong word. Maybe I’d try living in another country for a few years, but I’m not saying I wouldn’t come back to Budapest. I like my life here. I think what really matters is whether or not you feel at home and doing what you really like. If those things are happening here, then this is my home.

Maria: I never have plans. We’ll see. I’m open for everything.

Source: We Love Budapest

Translated for XpatLoop by Zsófia Lay

18.12.2013

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Dec 19, 2013
Terri Judson

Gearing up for another wine fest

British Columbia Mines Minister Bill Bennett met with a trio of federal ministers in Ottawa on Thursday to urge them to approve a controversial gold and copper mine that has already been rejected once by the Conservative government.

But the First Nations fighting the proposal said it’s a disgrace that Bennett is pressuring Ottawa to approve the New Prosperity mine, against the advice of an environmental review panel.

And the Tsilhqot’in National Government said if the federal government does so, it could be on the hook for compensation because the bands involved will take the project to court.

“We hope the ministers have our constitutional rights in mind, because this project clearly violates our aboriginal rights, as well as our human rights as indigenous peoples. If the federal government approves this mine, it could be on the hook for millions to the company in compensation when the courts strike down those approvals,” Chief Roger William of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nations said.

Two federal environmental reviews have now found that the mine proposed by Taseko Mines Ltd. (TSX:TKO) would infringe on aboriginal rights to hunt and trap — an impact that cannot be mitigated, William said in a statement.

A Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency report last month found that the billion-dollar project would cause “significant adverse environmental effects” on water quality, fish and fish habitat in a lake of significance to area First Nations.

It was the second time the agency panel found fault with the project. The federal environmental minister rejected the mine in 2010 because Taseko’s plan was to drain Fish Lake, or Teztan Biny, for use as a tailings pond. The company revised the plan and reapplied.

The B.C. govenrment approved the original project in 2010, saying the benefits outweighed the environmental impacts.

Taseko has applied to the Federal Court for a judicial review of the latest assessment, saying the panel used the wrong information to conclude the mine will eventually contaminate Fish Lake.

The site 125 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake, B.C., is the tenth largest undeveloped gold-copper deposit in the world and Bennett said the mine will create 750 construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs in an area that has been devastated by the pine beetle epidemic.

He met with Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt and Government Services Minister Diane Finley.

Bennett didn’t mention Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq, in whose hands the decision rests.

“I made sure that the federal ministers understand how important this project is to the Cariboo region that’s really suffering right now because of the pine beetle epidemic, and I made sure that they understand that we have the technology in British Columbia, in our mining industry, to actually build this mine in a way that is environmentally safe,” Bennett said after the meetings on Parliament Hill.

He rejected assertions that it was inappropriate for him to make the appeal to the federal government.

“I’m not lobbying on behalf of a company,” Bennett said. “I’m here on behalf of the people of British Columbia. We need the jobs.”

Chief Joe Alphonse, tribal chairman of the Tsilhqot’in National Government, said the federal ministers should also hear from his community, “about the legal situation and their constitutional obligations to us as a First Nation,” before making any decision.

“It’s disappointing that the provincial government is not more concerned with relationships with First Nations, who hold the keys to an estimated $650 billion in development projects in western Canada,” Alphonse said.

Alphonse said B.C. is on the path to “all-out conflict” with First Nations over the project.

“This is a bad project and there’s no way it can be approved. We’d rather work with the province on acceptable proposals elsewhere, so this is all a waste of time and energy.”

Bennett said he expects a decision from Aglukkaq in February.

 

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