I am appealing to all residents of the Kootenys to band together and fund buying dictionaries for “Crusty” Clark and Bill Bennett so they can look up the definition of “democracy.”
Research in my two dictionaries yielded these definitions:
1) Government by the people collectively by elected representatives; political or social equality.
2) A government that is run by the people who live under it.
This is not what happened in the case of government approval of the controversial Jumbo Glacier Resort Development. For 20 years opponents to the resort have been sending strong messages of “no” to the various governments of B.C. in power, and the message still hasn’t changed.
Giving approval to this project because Bennett met with French financiers in Paris, who told him they want to invest, and Oberti, the proponent of the project, is tired of waiting, does not make this approval a democratic action. These people do not live in the Kootenays. We do, and surveys show the majority does not want this development.
Perhaps the premier and Bennett should don hiking boots this summer and spend some time hiking in the area. They could speak to the European tourists, who have travelled to the Kootenays especially for the undeveloped wilderness. They spend money in the area and create employment in the already existing tourist facilities. If they wanted to experience a ski resort with 23 lifts and 6,000 beds they would stay at home, since Europe has many such resorts.
With a little effort Clark and Bennett could ski in the Jumbo area now. All it takes is some back country ski equipment, some wilderness knowledge and some physical effort. The locals have been doing this for years, without causing massive environmental impact, disruption of wildlife habitat and huge expenditures of tax dollars to provide the infrastructure needed to support such a development. Investing this money in better health care facilities would be a more democratic action.
In the next provincial election my vote will be for Jumbo Wild Forever; not for greed and development at any cost.