The Jumbo Glacier Resort is like a zombie that won’t die. The project has been proposed in one form or another for over 20 years, and the opposition has been diligently fighting this project all along. Most recently, Ecojustice lawyers, on behalf of Wildsight and Jumbo Creek Conservation Society, fought to show that this project did not meet its legal duties, including its construction and pre-construction obligations imposed through the environmental assessment process.
The project has encountered problems throughout its history. For example, in October 2014, just a week before project’s certificate expired, a team began constructing buildings in an avalanche zone, contrary to construction obligations. Earlier in the same year, the project also failed to comply with pre-construction conditions under their environmental assessment certificate.
The resort’s construction has also continually encountered significant opposition from community and environmental groups. Yet despite the resistance to the project, in 2012 the B.C. government amended the Local Government Act, which allowed Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort to form a new municipality — one without any residents. By removing democratic process, the controversial changes to the legislation allowed the project to move forward despite strong opposition.
All this amounts to seemingly never-ending controversy over the project, which has done little to endear itself to the surrounding community. And without a social licence, it is difficult to see how a project of this scale could actually proceed. The area has important cultural, recreational, and environmental values that citizens do not want to see commercialized, altered, or destroyed. Widespread public opposition, combined with potential harmful impacts on wildlife, ought to be enough to bring this project to an indefinite halt.
And yet the company behind the project has signaled that it is not ready to give up on this beleaguered project. Even after all these years, ‘no’ apparently does not mean ‘no’.