A BC Supreme Court judge ruled today that the province did not err in creating a city with no residents to facilitate the Jumbo Glacier ski resort development. West Kootenay EcoSociety launched the court challenge in February 2013 with the support of local residents and West Coast Environmental Law. The court challenge argued that the municipality violates provincial laws requiring municipalities to serve community interests. The Mayor and two councillors were appointed by the province in 2012.

to read the judge’s ruling.

“It is obvious that the fake town is terrible and while we understand the judge’s ruling, we disagree with it,” said David Reid, Executive Director of West Kootenay EcoSociety. “Cities must have citizens, and town councils must be elected by someone. The province shouldn’t be allowed to create a municipality in order to overcome the opposition of local people and their elected representatives.”

The resort lost its environmental permit in June when BC’s Minister of Environment determined that the project did not meet the deadline to commence construction. The development company behind the project plans to skirt environmental assessment requirements by reducing the size of the resort from over 6000 beds to just less than 2000.

Reid vowed to keep fighting for Jumbo Wild, and called for the province to pull the plug on the resort. “The province should require the developer to remediate the area they’ve damaged with their premature and ill-conceived construction. In addition, the province should move immediately to create permanent protection for the Jumbo Valley in consultation with First Nations,” he said.

Photo courtesty of the Nelson Star