While last week’s decision— by the provincial government finally puts an end to years of will-they-or-won’t-they speculation, it’s clear this two decade-plus odyssey is far from over.
Whether you love, hate, or have only a passing interest in the glacier resort that’s now a step closer to breaking ground in the Jumbo Valley, it’s difficult to take MLA Bill Bennett’s statement that the decision is a chance to “heal” rifts in our communities all that seriously.
Not when local conservation groups have called the decision a call to arms, when a local First Nation has declared it will use any method available to stop the development. Not when another divisive environmental story has played out so harshly over the last three months in this very community — though with somewhat less national media exposure.
Looking at it that way, we’d feel silly predicting anything but another messy fight.
That being said, with this story coming close on the heels of another contentious issue (rhymes with “steer lull”), there’s one thing worth keeping in mind:
Having different views, different priorities doesn’t make a person evil.
Being concerned about job creation over environmental impacts or vice versa does not make someone a monster, or delusional, or in some way “against the valley.”
A week into this story, The Echo‘s web page is a hub of activity, but the name calling has mostly been kept to a minimum so far. We hope it stays that way.
Jumbo is a complex story, with points to be made both for and against and a maze of history behind it. Personal insults and attacks do more to hurt the debate than advance it.
And regardless of the eventual outcome of last week’s decision, we’ll all still have to live with each other.
That doesn’t change, Jumbo or no Jumbo.
—The Valley Echo