A dispute between the Ktunaxa Nation Council and the B.C. government is going to the Supreme Court of Canada over a proposed all-year ski resort at Jumbo Glacier.

RDEK wants province to deny Jumbo voting rights at board table

RDEK debates Jumbo voting rights at regional district table at monthly April meeting.

The RDEK is encouraging the province to make some amendments to a legal document that would allow the Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality a voting seat.

Back in 2009, a resolution was passed by the RDEK board requesting that if a resort municipality was created, that it should not be given a voting seat on the RDEK board until there enough of a local population to elect a local council.

When the resort was incorporated in November 2012 by a provincial Order in Council, the legal document, called a Letters Patent, included language that would give a municipal director RDEK voting obligations the year after the taxable value of the land totals more than $30 million or after January 1, 2017.

“When they set up the municipality in the Letters Patent, they basically said that this municipality would get a vote by 2017,” said Invermere Mayor Gerry Taft. “Obviously, that was a number of years ago and not much has happened up there.”

The JGMRM council voted passed a resolution to extend their RDEK voting rights starting from 2020 instead of 2017, however, the RDEK felt it didn’t go for enough.

“The Jumbo council itself has sent a similar request—they don’t even want a voting seat at the board right now. So their request was to change the number from 2017 to 2020,” said Taft.

Taft says the RDEK board doesn’t want to see JGMRM get a vote that would affect regional interests if the municipality itself doesn’t have any residents.

“What ended up getting passed was basically adding support to the resolution of 2020 and further asking that there be a base minimum of population and assessed value before a voting seat is given to Jumbo,” said Taft.

“Philosophically, I think a lot of us believe that there shouldn’t be a vote on regional matters unless you’re representing some people and right now there’s no people up there.”

The province has the authority to amend the Letters Patent

The issue of building an all-year ski resort on Jumbo Glacier has been ongoing for more than 20 years.

Currently, the project is at a standstill after being ruled ‘not substantially started’ by the Ministry of Environment last June, which resulted in a Environmental Assessment Certificate (EAC) expiring. Should the proponents—Glacier Resorts Ltd.—wish to continue, they must go obtain a new EAC.

In addition to the decision from the provincial government, the Ktunaxa Nation Council are taking the provincial government to the Supreme Court of Canada over a decision to approve a Master Development Plan in March 2012.

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled that the province had adequately consulted with the Ktunaxa Nation in  and an Appeal Court ruling upheld that decision in August 2015.

Now, the Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear the Ktunaxa’s case, which centres on a challenge to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which argues that the approval of the Jumbo’s master development plan is a violation of their Charter right to freedom of religion. According to Ktunaxa religious beliefs, the region around Jumbo—known as Qat’muk—holds significant spiritual meaning as that’s where the Grizzly Bear Spirit born, goes to heal itself, and returns to the spirit world.

For Ktunaxa, Grizzly Bear Spirit is a unique and indispensable source of collective as well as individual guidance, strength, and protection, and a necessary part of many Ktunaxa spiritual practices and beliefs.

The Supreme Court will hear the case sometime in 2017.


Just Posted

News from the Kimberley Garden Club

Marilee Quist I always get a little nostalgic at this time of… Continue reading

All candidates forum at McKim

Forum to be held on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Kimberley scouts bag 1500 sandbags for fundraising initiative

On Saturday September 22, the local Scouting Groups, accompanied with parents and… Continue reading

Dave Corbould seeks a seat on Kimberley City Council

Although Dave Corbould hasn’t lived in Kimberley for very long, he is… Continue reading

Kimberley Dynamiters win two games on home ice

Josh Lockhart The Kimberley Dynamiters had a “false sense of achievement” weekend… Continue reading

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Father, nine-year-old son killed in crash along B.C. highway

RCMP say family of five was hit head-on by a pickup truck north of Williams Lake

Two B.C. police departments won’t use new saliva test to detect high drivers

The Dräger DrugTest 5000 is designed to find THC, the high-inducing part of marijuana

Canada aiming for the moon, and beyond, with new space technology efforts

With an eye on future lunar exploration, Canada’s space agency is calling on companies to present their ideas for everything from moon-rover power systems to innovative mineral prospecting techniques.

New Brunswick Premier meets with lieutenant-governor as Tories, Liberals vie for power

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant said the only other leader he had spoken with since results came in was Green Leader David Coon.

Trudeau looks to restart Canada’s UN charm offensive in New York City

Freeland says the question of job retraining in the 21st century — and the uncertainty that surrounds it — is the federal government’s central preoccupation.

Calgary mayor seeks person who leaked details of closed-door Olympic meeting

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he will ask the city’s integrity commissioner to investigate a leak of details from an in-camera council meeting.

B.C. MP Cannings spared brunt of Ottawa tornadoes

MP Richard Cannings was spared the impact of the tornadoes that hit the Ottawa region

Edmonton cannabis company revenues more than triples to $19.1 million

Aurora Cannabis revenues more than triple in fourth quarter

Most Read