From West Coast Environmental Law, 11 October, 2011
In a recent post we explained that Taseko’s “New Prosperity” mine may be “new” in name only; however, while the mine project may not be new, the companies involved do have at least one “new” employee. Jason T. Quigley is now the Executive Vice President of Regulatory and Stakeholder Affairs of Taseko Mines Ltd.’s parent company, Hunter Dickinson Inc. (HDI). His job description includes providing “regulatory and Corporate Social Responsibility expertise in support of HDI interests.”
Until recently, Quigley was employed as the Regional Director for the Pacific and Yukon Regional Office of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA), and for at least some of the that time CEAA was involved in the environmental assessment of the original Prosperity mine proposal.
… we cannot help but express concern about the appearance of a conflict of interest: a person who very recently worked for DFO and CEAA, and was responsible for regulating Taseko, now works for the parent company of Taseko, while Taseko is attempting to obtain authorizations from DFO (and other departments), and a favourable environmental assessment decision from CEAA in relation to New Prosperity.
Without unduly restricting their ability to seek other employment, former public servants should undertake to minimize the possibility of real, apparent or potential conflicts of interest between their new employment and their most recent responsibilities within the federal public service….