Urgent update: As of July 23, The Ministry of Forests began working to remove avalanche debris and give the developer access to the Jumbo Valley. The developer could start road building as soon as next week. Please sign up to join the monitoring camp or to help recruit helpers and campers!

Abuse of discretion

The resort developer (Glacier Resorts Limited) is desperate to meet the October 12 deadline to “substantially commence” the project. Otherwise, a new environmental assessment will be required. Their plan is to upgrade part of the 55km access road. Although a short section of road hardly seems like a substantial start to a $1 billion project, we fear that the Minister of Environment will use her discretion to allow the project to move forward.

The honour system of Environmental Compliance

At the same time, the proposed resort faces continuous pressure regarding its dubious environmental compliance. The developer has a list of 195 commitments that must be met before the resort is operational. Some of these commitments must be met before construction can begin. The developer has submitted a “compliance self-report” cataloguing their supposed efforts, and the project has a green light based solely on their say-so. The Environmental Assessment Office will perform a review, but in them meantime, the project has a theoretical green light from the Environmental Assessment Office.

Bending the rules

The proposed road upgrade requires fixing two washouts before they can even begin. One of the washouts is caused by a fish-bearing stream. Federal law requires the fish should not be disturbed until August 20, but Glacier Resorts Limited is asking for permission to begin sooner.

Serious legal questions remain

The proposed resort faces three significant legal questions. First, the Ktunaxa Nation Council is asking the BC Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court’s ruling that their spiritual and traditional uses were not adequately accommodated in the resort approval. Second, West Kootenay EcoSociety has asked the court to rule whether or not it is lawful to have a municipality with no residents and whose mayor and council were appointed by a Minister. Finally, the recent ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada on the Tsilhqo’tin (Chilcotin) case brings into question whether the province can approve any project in traditional unceded territory without the express consent of the affected nations.

Keeping an eagle eye

In order to ensure that Glacier Resorts Limited meets all of the legal requirements, our team of volunteers is keeping a sharp eye on every step of the process. If the preliminary work to clear the road is completed this summer, concerned citizens plan to monitor the road from a roadside camp in order to make sure that no work proceeds unless all the legal and regulatory issues are resolved.

What you can do

  • Sign our petition to keep the pressure on the BC government to enforce the law
  • Sign up to help out with the camp this summer
  • Help us recruit campers and supporters at local markets and festivals
  • Donate to support our legal case and organizing costs
  • Join us for the Jumbo Pass Summit hike on September 20