Our Summer Semester course visits the Jumbo Creek area of British Columbia’s Kootenay Range that would be impacted by a gigantic ski resort proposal. It is a highly contentious issue involving numerous ecological, cultural, economic, and policy variables – a great forum for learning about all these subjects. We encourage students and alumni to stay or become involved in the issues around the Jumbo Valley.
Here is a link to a video about the Ktunaxa Nation:
Jumbo Resort Municipality a Wilderness Land Grab
Submitted by Robyn Duncan on November 20, 2012 – 10:21
Today, the Jumbo Resort Municipality was created by the BC government.
Encompassing the wilderness area of the Jumbo Valley, this new municipality has a population of zero and an appointed council of 3. This decision flies in the face of democratic land-use decisions, overwhelming public opposition, grizzly bear science, First Nations spiritual claims and opposition from the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM).
“This is a public land grab. For 20 years, the people have said no to the Jumbo Resort, grizzly bear scientists have said no to the Jumbo Resort and the Ktunaxa Nation has said no to the Jumbo Resort. In September, the Union of BC Municipalities said no. This decision changes the face in democracy in BC,” stated Robyn Duncan, Program Manager with Wildsight.
The ability of the BC Government to create a municipality in a wilderness area is made possible by controversial changes to the Local Government Act in May 2012. These changes allow for the designation of a Mountain Resort Municipality (MRM) in a wilderness area, with no permanent population and no infrastructure. The BC government has said they will fund the salary of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the new municipality and the taxpayer will be responsible for road maintenance and avalanche control costs.
The Union of BC Municipalities responded with strong opposition in September 2012, stating they do not support an unelected body making land-use decisions.
“Land-use decisions should be made locally”, said Duncan. “This process is an end-run around the local democratic process and it ignores the advice of the government’s own grizzly bear biologists, who have said that the Jumbo Glacier Resort would threaten the viability of grizzly bears in the Purcell Mountains”.
The Jumbo Glacier Resort has been proposed for more than 20 years. To date, there has been no referendum on the issue, despite overwhelming opposition. Grizzly bear biologists have stated the area is essential to maintain healthy grizzly bear populations in the Purcell Mountains.
Contact: Robyn Duncan, Program Manager, Wildsight, 250.432.5422
The Union of BC Municipalities September 2012:
“THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the UBCM ask the Ministry of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development to consider a governance structure for Mountain Resort Municipalities that includes elected representatives responsible for land-use decisions and a permanent population of at least 200 people.
AND FURTHER THAT the UBCM does not support the concept of an unelected body making land decisions for an area with no population”.