Ecojustice Blog – Nature Posted on August 7, 2019 (updated: September 30, 2019)

Victory! We’re keeping Jumbo wild

Devon PageLawyer
Jumbo Pass by Danny Laroche
Photo by Danny Laroche, via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0

British Columbia’s Jumbo Valley is vitally important for wildlife, surrounding communities, and members of the Ktunaxa First Nation, who took their own legal challenge of the project all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Now, on behalf of our clients, Ecojustice has scored an important victory that will help keep Jumbo wild.

Yesterday morning, the B.C. Court of Appeal issued a ruling that, for the time being, prevents Glacier Resorts Ltd. from proceeding with a proposed year-round ski resort in the valley. Ecojustice intervened in the case on behalf of Wildsight and the Jumbo Creek Conservation Society.

The Court upheld a 2015 decision from the province’s Minister of Environment, who found the company failed to “substantially start” construction on the project by a 10-year deadline. As a result, Glacier’s environmental assessment certificate expired.

We’re glad the Court decided developers can’t hang on to an environmental assessment certificate forever without taking concrete on the ground steps to start their projects.  The data that informed the project’s assessment in the 1990s is now completely outdated. So much has changed since then: biodiversity loss is accelerating, and Canada is warming twice as fast as the global average. Environmental assessment certificates come with conditions and expiry dates for a reason — which the Court upheld yesterday.

Glacier could scale back the project significantly or apply for a new environmental assessment. But, given the current state of grizzly bears in the region and how fiercely local communities and the Ktunaxa oppose the resort, it’s hard to see any viable future for this project.

In the face of a biodiversity crisis, this outcome is a clear win for threatened grizzly bears and other species that call the Jumbo Valley home. And, like all Ecojustice victories, this result was only possible because of you.

The Jumbo case is a prime example of how your support makes a difference.

It is only because of you and other Ecojustice supporters that we are able to wage such difficult, drawn-out legal battles, and to represent all our clients — including small community groups like the Jumbo Creek Conservation Society — free of charge.

And, with your help, we are winning.

Please, continue to make it possible for Ecojustice lawyers to go to court and win. Make a donation today and support Ecojustice as we defend nature, combat climate change, and fight for a healthy environment for all.

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