Letter to the Editor: Legislation is the law

Merlin Olsen wrote “one of life’s most painful moments comes when we must admit that we didn’t do our homework, that we are not prepared.”

Dear Editor,

Merlin Olsen wrote that “one of life’s most painful moments comes when we must admit that we didn’t do our homework, that we are not prepared” and based upon Norm Macdonald’s most recent rant on the creation of a Jumbo Resort Municipality, he clearly did not do his homework.

Macdonald seems intent in misleading people in this region about how a Mountain Resort Municipality must be created by government. Recently Macdonald said in the Cranbrook Daily Townsman, also published in the Invermere Valley Echo, the Kimberley Daily Bulletin and the Golden Star, that “They’re able to create a resort municipality that can be created by the minister alone. If there’s any suggestion by Bill Bennett that it’s more difficult or more rigorous than that, that’s just not the case.” In the Golden Star, he went further to state that Bill Bennett “with the stroke of a pen,” can create a Mountain Resort Municipality and that there needn’t “be an election…at any time in the future.”

So simply, what is the simple truth? The creation of a Resort Municipality falls under the Local Government Act and the process is crystal clear. Bill 41 Section 11 sub-sections 2.1 states:  “the minister may recommend to the cabinet incorporation of a new mountain resort municipality” and “on the recommendation of the minister under subsection (2.1)…*the cabinet may*, by letters patent, incorporate a new mountain resort municipality for the area.”

In layman’s terms,  the Local Government Act  under  Section 11 clearly tells us that the Minister of Community Sport and Cultural Development does not have the unilateral authority, as Mr.  Macdonald claims, to establish a resort municipality; only the full cabinet has that authority.

If this form of governance is used for this resort project, local people will be appointed to the initial council, a chief administrative officer will be hired to ensure that all laws and regulations are complied with in the development phase, and when there are a sufficient number of citizens residing in the resort municipality, elections for mayor and council will be held. Although other municipalities have been created in B.C. for purposes of supporting a mining development, this method has not been used previously for new, “greenfield” ski resort projects. In fact, JGR is the first “greenfield” resort project approved in B.C. in at least 30 years.

Doug Clovechok

BC Liberal Candidate

Columbia River Revelstoke Riding