Here’s your fall update on the fight to Keep Jumbo Wild, including a quick look at the Developer’s proposed revisions to the resort.

Developer takes steps toward revising Jumbo Project

Glacier Resorts Limited has released a proposed revision to the Jumbo Resort Master Plan. The revision reduces the number of beds from 6,000 to 1,997, thus avoiding the need for a new environmental assessment certificate. The proposed project lost its environmental certificate this June when the Minister of Environment ruled that the project had not substantially started before the October 12, 2014 deadline. BC law requires that the Environemntal Assessment Office conduct a review of all ski resorts of more than 2000 beds. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations reviews all ski resort proposals. The Master Development Agreement signed by the province in 2012 allows the developer to bring proposed revisions to the Ministry, so a new agreement may not be required, though the revised plan will be subject to the MInistry’s review and will require consultation with First Nations.

According to reporting by Steve Hubrecht of the Columbia Valley Pioneer, “Among the 1,997 total beds are 24 bed and breakfast beds; 819 condominium beds; 180 duplex beds; 180 hotel beds; and 450 single-family chalet beds. The statistics also include 298 employee bed units. Several other buildings are also outlined in the plans, including various sorts of service and utility buildings, amenities such as a place of worship, a firehall, a convention centre, a society building, an interpretive centre, at least four daylodges and a teahouse on top of one of the resort’s glaciers.”

Jumbo Wild film lands in the Kootenays

Nelson’s Sweetgrass Productions has completed work on a documentary film about Jumbo Wild. The documentary takes a balanced look at the controversial ski resort, with archival footage and new interviews with members of the Ktunaxa Nation, the resorts proponents, and grizzly bear researcher Michael Proctor. The film has shown at the Vancouver International Film Festival, and will visit Invermere and Cranbrook before screenings in Nelson on October 13th at the Nelson Civic Theatre (6:30 & 8:30 with Q&A to follow). View the trailer here

Ktunaxa lose BC Court of Appeals, may seek to Appeal to Supreme Court of Canada

The Ktunaxa Nation was dealt a disappointing blow on August 6 when BC Court of Appeals decided to uphold the BC Supreme Court’s earlier ruling that the Ktunaxa Nation’s constitutional rights were not infringed upon by the Ministry’s decision to approve the Master Development Agreement for the Jumbo resort. The Ktunaxa Nation has held that the Qat’Muk area is the sacred home of the grizzly bear spirit, and that their cultural practices would be harmed by the development of the ski resort. The court found that “the process of consultation and the accommodation offered meets the reasonableness standard.” Ktunaxa Nation Council Chair Kathryn Teneese has said the Nation will consider initiating the process to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. 

No word on EcoSociety case

Thanks to your generous contributions and the support of West Coast Environmental Law, West Kootenay EcoSociety had our day in court on July 15. Our representatives Jason Gratl and Judah Harrison presented a detailed case showing that the government abused its discretion by creating a municipality with no residents. The Province offered a scanty defense, saying simply that the legislature passed a revision to allow municpalities with no people, and the MInister was acting on that authority. The Province did not rebut our principal arguments, and did not give Judge Grace Choi much to work with. Due to the sensitive nature of the case, and due to the Province not providing much rebuttal, we expect that the judge’s decision may not be made until January 2016.  

Town of Nothing Goes on Tour 

Nelson-area author KL Kivi and collaborator Amber Santos will tour the Columbia Basin with their satirical book “The Town of Nothing” starting October 21 with a stop in Kaslo. The book has received a review in BC Booklook and will be showcased in an upcoming edition of the Watershed Sentinel. The book pokes fun at the Jumbo Municipality with no residents, with characters starting Nothing-based businesses and Nothing-based creative enterprises. All profits from the sale of the book support the campaign to keep Jumbo Wild. Check back for more dates for the book tour, or visit www.maapress.ca to buy a copy.

 

Here are the dates for the complete tour: 

  • Kaslo at the Langham, Wednesday October 21, 7pm.
  • New Denver at Knox Hall, Thursday October 22, 7pm.
  • Kimberley Public Library, Kimberley, Wednesday October 28, 7pm.
  • Lotus Books, Cranbrook, Thursday October 29, 7pm.
  • Bacchus Books in Golden, Friday October 30, 7pm.