The B.C. minister who may eventually make a long-awaited decision on the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort says he’s still doing “due diligence” on the file and has no set timeline for saying yea or nay.
Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources and MLA for Kelowna-Mission, made a quick trip into East Kootenay last week to meet with members of the Ktunaxa Nation and tour the resort site with representatives from proponent Glacier Resorts Ltd.
“It was very important for me to get up and see the area, because it really does provide you with perspective. It’s something you can’t see from looking at files and pictures and maps that are provided you on a table,” Thomson told The Valley Echo.
This is Thomson’s second trip to the Jumbo site, but the first as the minister responsible for the file. His previous tour was made during his days with the Ministry of Agriculture, when he worked on land inventories.
“It was really interesting to be able to see the overall perspective in terms of where the resort would be, where the activities would take place,” he added. “It’s a spectacular part of the province, to be able to get that perspective and see the experience that’s being proposed as part of the project.”
However, Thomson says his trip shouldn’t be taken as a sign that a decision about Jumbo is looming.
“We don’t have a specific timeline, but we do recognize the importance of keeping this process moving and getting the due diligence done,” he said.
For the moment, that means meeting with those on both sides of the issue and going through years of research already prepared on the issue.
“There’re very strong feelings around this project. I think the decision needs to be based on sound analysis, on science, on taking all the considerations into the process,” he said. “That includes all the work that’s been done in terms of environment, economic, social. All the major areas that need to be considered.”
He also shrugged off questions about whether a (currently speculative) fall election would see the final date for a decision pushed forward or shoved back to a later date.