Questioning the public value of Jumbo

Dear Editor:

I spent this past Saturday (October 4th) at the Jumbo Wild Rally at kilometre 0.0 on the Jumbo Creek Forest Service Road. I was a participant in the rally, but I was also an observer, and three things in particular were of real concern to me, as a resident, elected official, and taxpayer of Invermere.

I noted that four of our local RCMP force were also attending the rally this means 40 per cent of our regions police detachment were, literally, detached from the valley and were instead up in Jumbo Valley for the better part of the day on Saturday. I would argue their time would have been better spent providing police services for the Columbia Valley communities where real people actually live, not supervising the pouring of concrete for a private development in the woods.

This is not good news for our already challenged RCMP staffing situation in the valley. Obviously they get their marching orders from further up the chain.

I noted that many, if not most, of the contractors working at the proposed Jumbo Resort site were from the Lower Mainland and elsewhere around the province how soon JGR has forgotten their earnest commitment to creating local jobs.

And finally, I noted that in their hurried attempt to get started before their 10-year old certificate of approval expires next weekend (Editors note: This letter was submitted prior to the October 12th deadline) what were they doing all that time? both the developer and the province appear to have conveniently forgotten about many of the important (and legally binding) commitments they were required to be addressed before construction began and before their October 12th deadline.

Together, these three observations suggest that the publics fears about this boondoggle resort are beginning to materialize: a drain on local police forces; failure to create local jobs; and lack of clear provincial oversight for this controversial project.

Not to mention the $1,000,000 of provincial funding, and the $50,000 per year of federal funding that this community with no people will siphon away from communities in our region and around the province.

Paul Denchuk


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