As Jumbo was first being proposed, 20 years ago I was there arguing for it. A prominent local opponent stated that if Jumbo obtained an environmental certificate, his opposition would go away. He lied.
The proponent earned a certificate and that prominent opponent carried on his misinformation campaign. Their lies never ended and the depths to which opponents and some in the media would stoop in their desire to kill the project knew no bounds.
The project won every court challenge, succeeded in every review — even the level of support has been manipulated.
Ninety-five per cent of the businesses of the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce surveyed supported the project so the opponents threatened a boycott. The media again ignored the threat.
The Shuswap Band supported the project and was ignored by the media.
Everyone should read the report done by the government on RK Heliski’s opposition, and the judge’s remarks in court cases. If the proponents of Jumbo had done the things opponents did, it would have made big news. But RK opposed Jumbo and it was all put aside.
Throughout the project, the goalposts were constantly changed to delay the project and make the project more and more difficult to complete on time. Yet, as good sports, the proponents carried on.
Major ski areas in the U.S. will celebrate the most as their high-end clients will not be flocking to Jumbo to spend billions of dollars. As local ski areas flirt back and forth with profitability, waiting for global warming to do them in, Jumbo’s spinoff international clients would have helped save them.
Whistler was a catalyst for major investments into the Okanagan and Sun Peaks as Jumbo would have been for Panorama, Kimberley, Golden and Fernie.
Imagine BC today without Whistler — that’s what has just happened.
In the early stages, government bureaucrats were caught, through freedom of information requests, trying “to stall the project until it dies”… with the media refusing to publicize it! Then, to rub salt in the wound, the government used these delays they caused to kill the project.
Investors will now know their money is better invested in tinpot dictatorships than B.C. So B.C. can carry on building mines and logging the every scrap out of B.C. And when they finally succeed in destroying B.C. for all its natural resources, no one will dare invest in tourism in B.C.
Meanwhile natural gas exploration in the real virgin wildernesses of Northern B.C. goes on unchecked. No gondolas, just gas and big game hunting. In the 20 years this resort was called a threat to grizzly bears, over 10,000 will have been killed by hunters in B.C., according to the wildlife ministry.
The opponents will celebrate. However, it’s one thing to win a battle; it’s another to do it with dignity and integrity.
They have done neither.
Jumbo did succeed and they did it with integrity. So to say it died due to some flaw in the project or as a result of strong arguments against it goes against all common sense. That is what the opponents want you to believe.
What goes around comes around and many will run up against them and see how it feels.
This is sad day for the people of B.C., especially the wildlife and wilderness of B.C. It is a chance to create more and more jobs with a fixed amount of natural resources.
Formerly of Panorama, Nelson and Vancouver Island 1985 – 2007
Member of Jumbo Public Advisory Committee
Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) of BC 1995-1997