Jumbo Glacier and Lake of the Hanging Glacier. File

Province looking at steps to dissolve Jumbo resort municipality

Disincorporating municipality will likely require a legislative change, according to the province

The proposed Jumbo ski resort in the Purcell Mountains west of Invermere is dead.

On the weekend, Glacier Resorts Ltd. announced that it relinquished all development rights to the surrounding area following a pair of agreements with the provincial and federal governments, and the Nature Conservancy of Canada, which acted on behalf of the Ktunaxa Nation.

READ: Ktunaxa, supporters celebrate protection of Qat’muk and the Jumbo valley

The agreement will allow for the creation of an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA), which will be led and governed by the Ktunaxa Nation.

In a statement, Glacier Resorts Ltd. said it recognized the vision of the Ktunaxa Nation Council to see the region protected.

“We worked for many years to develop a project that would be transformational for tourism in BC,” said Celso Boscariol, Chairman of the Board of Glacier Resorts Ltd., “however, we believe as a conserved place the Jumbo Valley will still provide inspiration and joy to those who will visit it to explore nature.”

Glacier Resorts Ltd. has terminated a Master Development Agreement with the province and discontinued pending legal action to the Supreme Court of Canada. The case would have challenged a provincial government decision five years ago that determined the resort project was not substantially started, which effectively cancelled a necessary development permit, grinding all work to a halt.

So what does this mean for the Jumbo Glacier Resort Municipality, which was created by the provincial government eight years ago as part of the necessary procedure to approve a Master Development Agreement?

The point was raised by Gerry Wilkie, the Electoral G director for the Regional District of East Kootenay, during a celebration of the announcement at the Ktunaxa Nation government building on Saturday.

Wilkie’s electoral area jurisdiction in the Columbia Valley borders the Jumbo municipal boundary.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, steps are now being taken to obtain decisions needed to disincorporate the municipality and return the governance of the region into an electoral area under the jurisdiction of the RDEK.

Jumbo is a unique case; under the Local Government Act, residents must petition for disincorporation, however, since Jumbo doesn’t have any residents, a legislation change will likely be required, according to the statement.

Greg Deck, who was appointed mayor of the Jumbo municipality by the provincial government in 2012, declined to comment on the announcement.

Though the municipality has defined boundaries, it has no residents or infrastructure.

The municipality received a start-up grant of $200,000 to establish a administrative structure in 2013, and received a further $70,000 from the Small Community Grant funding two years later.

The effort to develop a ski resort in the area dates back to 1991, when Glacier Resorts Ltd. filed its first formal proposal.

That touched off years of negotiations with the Ktunaxa and studies and plans needed to obtain the necessary permits.

In 2010, the Ktunaxa issued the Qat’muk Declaration, affirming the area’s religious significance and establishing a set of stewardship principles.

When the province approved a Master Development Agreement in 2012, the Ktunaxa took the matter all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, arguing the nation hadn’t been adequately consulted and that the development of the resort would violate their religious freedoms.

However, the Supreme Court of Canada majority opinion ruled against their case.

READ: Supreme Court of Canada dismisses Ktunaxa Jumbo resort appeal

In a separate matter running concurrently, the province determined the project was not substantially started after an October 2014 deadline, which essentially revoked a Environmental Assessment Certificate — a permit required to pursue the development.

Glacier Resort filed a judicial review, which ruled in the company’s favour, however, it was overturned in the B.C. Court of Appeal after it was challenged by the provincial government.

By October 2014, on-site construction included the concrete floor slab of a day lodge, a concrete floor slab of a service building, foundation for chair lift anchors and various bridge structures and road work necessary to access the site.

However, aspects of the project were considered in non-compliance under the terms identified in the Environmental Assessment Certificate.

Glacier Resorts Ltd. envisioned a development with a ski base covering 105 hectares and ski-able terrain covering 5,000 hectares with elevations up to 3,400 metres.

With a file from Carolyn Grant/Kimberley Bulletin

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New ‘hub’ model takes regional approach to doctor recruitment in West Kootenay

Kootenay-Boundary a provincial leader in effectively attracting doctors to work here

Missing Slocan City man found dead

Douglas Morrison went missing in mid-January

School District 51 turns its focus to students’ mental health

‘It’s a shift in our thinking, from what we expect schools to be like and what they are now’

IN PHOTOS: 2020 Wilgress Lake Fishing Derby

Fishermen dotted Wilgress Lake for the Boundary Métis Association’s annual event

Grand Forks marches against gender violence

The Grand Forks march was part of 1 Billion Rising, a global movement against gender violence

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

MLA Larson deals with abuse and threats

Oliver office has a buzz-in system, and panic buttons

Most Read