The decision by the BC Liberals to incorporate Jumbo Mountain as a resort municipality is not sitting well with the NDP. The opposition says it's just the latest step by the government to force the resort onto Kootenay residents.
“I’ve not spoken to anyone outside the BC Liberal party who thinks that this legislation makes sense,” said Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald.
“To create a town where there are no residents, to appoint a council that may never face election, and do this with no real possibility that a resort will be built is ridiculous. But a small group of Jumbo supporters are getting their way on this one: transferring control of public lands into private hands.”
The announcement was made earlier today by Bill Bennett, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. He also revealed that the un-elected municipal council has been appointed to a two-year term.
“Every public opinion survey and public consultation process has shown strong opposition to this proposal, and Minister Bennett seems to be one of the few Kootenay residents in favour,” said Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall.
“People in the Kootenays have long been in favour of sustainable resource development, and the fact that they are so strongly against this project should speak volumes.
“The Liberal government refuses to listen. They are completely out of touch with the needs and wishes of residents of the Kootenays.”
In 2009, the Regional District of East Kootenay requested that the BC government incorporate Jumbo as a mountain resort municipality, and in May of this year the Local Government Act was amended to clarify provincial authority to incorporate a mountain resort municipality whether or not there are residents in the area at the time of incorporation.
A year-round ski resort is envisioned at the foot of Jumbo Mountain and Jumbo Glacier, located 55 km west of Invermere.
The $450-million resort is planned in three phases and will ultimately include 5,500 bed-units in a 104-hectare resort base area. It is projected to provide approximately 3,750 person years of construction employment and create 750 to 800 permanent full-time jobs.
Editors note: This is one story Kelowna Mountain is watching closely click here to read the latest development.