West Kootenay EcoSociety will go to court this week to overturn the creation of the Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality. The municipality, created in 2013 to support the development of a controversial ski resort, has no residents or citizens. The mayor and council were appointed by the province, and the municipality has received over $450,000 in grants from the province to support development of the Jumbo Valley. The project lost its environmental approval from the Province last month after failing to substantially start within a ten-year window.

“We are very grateful to our supporters who have made it possible for us to take on this case,” said David Reid, Executive Director. “The Jumbo Valley is still at risk as long as there is a city council waiting to approve a development. It’s time to put this issue to rest once and for all, and getting rid of this so-called city is an important step.” For a discussion of the case, click here.

The West Coast Environmental Law Foundation has supported for the case, and West Kootenay EcoSociety has launched a crowdsourcing page to help cover the remaining legal costs. The case was intially scheduled for February 2015, but was delayed when the Province submitted new evidence on the day of the hearing.

The case has ramifications beyond the development of a remote wilderness, according to Reid. “We are a small non-profit community organization challenging the BC Legislature and the Lieutenant Governor in Council over the use of public resources to support corporate interests. Our case says that local decision making matters.”

The case will be heard in Vancouver at the BC Supreme Court starting Wednesday July 15. The West Kootenay EcoSociety is represented by Judah Harrison of Nelson and Jason Gratl of Vancouver.

UPDATE: West Kootenay EcoSociety argued our case for 5 hours, after which the Province wrapped up in only 45 minutes. Read the written submission from West Kootenay EcoSociety here (PDF). The Province relied on the idea that since the legislature knew the purposes of the Local Government Act and yet chose to allow municipalities without citizens, there must be no contradiction. We expect a decision on the case to take up to six months, since the judge will have to review all of our arguments without benefit of the Province’s rebuttal.