Whenever constituents talk to me about the BC Liberals’ plan to designate a Mountain Resort Municipality in the Jumbo Valley, the word ridiculous is often part of the discussion. And now, the Union of BC Municipalities, an organization made up of mayors and councillors from across the province, has agreed.
The BC Liberals have passed legislation that allows, with the stroke of a pen, Bill Bennett, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and a long-time Jumbo Resort booster, to declare that the Jumbo Valley is now a municipality. And that municipality will have a hand-picked appointed mayor and council with all the powers and responsibilities of any other municipality. There does not have to be a single resident living in the Jumbo Valley, nor does there have to be an election for a mayor and council at any time in the future.
Bennett will tell you that we do this sort of thing all the time. We establish new municipalities to promote mining communities and within a few years we have a fully functioning community with an elected mayor and council.
But placing a municipality in the Jumbo Valley does not in any way compare with the genesis of a community like Tumbler Ridge.
With no investors, significant opposition from First Nations and Opposition leader Adrian Dix’s promise that the Jumbo resort will not go ahead should the NDP form government, contemplating the establishment of a municipality in this area is absurd. And voters would have to ask themselves who would benefit from such a decision.
This designation can only be seen as a giveaway of public lands. And the only ones who will benefit are the resort’s proponents.
There isn’t one argument that can be made that this is in the public interest. And Minister Bennett knows it.
Norm Macdonald MLA
Columbia River – Revelstoke