Jumbo Valley landscape. Photo: Steve Ogle

Jumbo court story may not be over: MLA Clovechok

Last month, the B.C. Court of Appeal upheld a provincial government decision that determined a proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere was ‘not substantially started’ nearly four years ago.

Former Environment Minister Mary Polak found that Glacier Resorts Ltd. had not completed enough construction and development at the project site in the Jumbo Glacier Valley in 2015.

And last week, the federal government announced it will contribute $16 million over four years to the Ktunaxa Nation to create an Indigenous protected and conserved area in the Qat’muk area, which includes the Jumbo Valley, in the Purcell Mountains.

Given these recent developments in the ongoing Jumbo saga, the Bulletin asked Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok for his thoughts on the fact that Jumbo continues to exist as a municipality with no citizens.

“As far as I know, the tax payers are not funding the Jumbo municipal council as the council has not accepted any provincial monies for operations,” Clovechok said.

When contacted for clarification on Jumbo municipality funding, a Ministry of of Municipal Affairs and Housing spokesperson sent the following statement:

Jumbo Municipality has not received any provincial funding since 2015 as it has voluntarily deferred any eligible funding and operates on surplus funds from a past grant.

“In 2013, Jumbo received an initial start-up grant of $200,000 to establish a basic administrative structure and processes. Jumbo is eligible for approximately $200,000 annually in Small Community Grant funding for infrastructure, administration, and service delivery priorities. In March 2015, Jumbo received a $70,720 Small Community Grant and was scheduled to receive further grants, but requested deferment when the Environmental Assessment Certificate expired in 2015.”

Clovechok says he doubts the legal process is over.

“Given that there is no cost to the tax payer, it makes the most sense to let the legal process play out. From what I understand, the proponent apparently won the case at trial but the government won at the BC Court of Appeal.

“I have not spoken to the proponent, but it is my understanding that they may well bring an appeal of the unsubstantial start decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. As such there is no point in anyone doing anything until the Supreme Court of Canada considers the proponent’s case.”

{“I have many, many more pressing issues on the go for and with my constituents like trans-boarder health care, wildlife management and the TransCanada highway expansions that are way more important than this decades old saga.

“Going forward it would seem that all is still in the hands of the courts.”

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