Editor’s note: The following is an open letter submitted to the Invermere Valley Echo for publication.
June 18th was a momentous date for the people of the Kootenay and British Columbia. Cancellation of the Environmental Assessment Certificate (EAC) for Jumbo Glacier Resort must now mark the end of a decades-long struggle for the protection of one of this region’s most beloved wild places, the Jumbo Valley.
The would-be developers failed to make a substantial start on their fabled resort, despite a ten-year window of permission and the absurd creation and public financing of an entire municipal structure to enable them to proceed.
On June 18th, the Province of B.C. said “enough is enough,” and allowed the resort’s environmental approval to permanently expire.
What has been left behind is a hot mess to be cleaned up one piece at a time. There are five major questions that the Province must respond to in order to hold true to the determination that Jumbo Resort approvals are truly expired:
1. When will the Master Development Agreement be formally cancelled?
2. When will the Province dissolve the Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality?
3. When will the Province terminate the remnant land use tenures for Glacier Resorts Ltd.?
4. When will the Province follow through on their requirement that the developer must remove and remediate the illegal physical works at the former resort site?
5. What type of process would the developer have to go through if they were to attempt to proceed with a new, scaled-back resort proposal?
Minister Polak demonstrated great integrity in calling Glacier Resort’s bluff, but the Jumbo Valley will continue to be at risk until the Province firmly closes all remaining backdoors to resort development in the Jumbo and Farnham valleys.
Judy Burns, Director
Jumbo Creek Conservation Society