It would seem that in the case of two divisive issues that have troubled residents of Invermere for some time — the deer cull and the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort — time is not the answer. Indeed, it would seem that given more time, these issues are becoming more entrenched, lending to some unexpected, not to mention undesireable, outcomes.
In the case of Jumbo Glacier Resort, which is anxiously waiting for Mountain Resort Muncipality (MRM) status before moving ahead with any development, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities’ majority vote against an MRM in an area with no residents that would effectively require an appointed — not elected — mayor and council, reveals a level of opposition to this newly-introduced governance structure not previously aired.
The sentiment raised around the District of Invermere council table back in May after the new legislation was introduced appears to have now spread across the province, and may pick up even more momentum if Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Bill Bennett is successful in his bid to secure MRM status for the proposed resort in the non-populated Jumbo Valley.
We have yet to learn if Ktunaxa First Nation has been successful in its application for a judicial review of the B.C. government’s approval of the Jumbo Glacier Resort project, but we do know the nation has raised the issue with the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Now, JGR, as it’s come to be called, is being appealed not only on a local level but provincial and international ones as well.
As for the deer cull issue, it’s pure speculation at this point that those responsible for the death and maiming of deer within the district of Invermere’s municipal boundaries over the last two weeks are acting out of frustration because nothing is being done to reduce the local deer population. Irregardless, these individuals are discharging weapons in public areas with no regard for public safety or the law.
What can we do to protect our core community values and character when presented with these kinds of conflict and crises? Bonding together and strengthening our common connection based on the reasons that drew us here together in the first place should be paramount before our sense of community gets lost in the bigger picture.