Dear Editor:

I live in Bigfork, Montana, and travel to the Invermere area regularly for recreation primarily hiking, backpacking, canoeing, skiing, and birdwatching. Your community welcomes folks from all over the world and its a pleasure to visit.

As a regular visitor, I do follow your news and I am routinely surprised and amazed by the debate over the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort.

I am amazed that a town can be created and a town council and mayor appointed without a population to represent. As reported in the Globe and Mail in February 2014, The province even created a resort municipality, provided a $200,000 budget and appointed a mayor and council to manage this still-empty wilderness.

I am amazed that the province of B.C. would move forward to improve road access (Pioneer July 4th issue) to the proposed resort area when the Canadian Supreme Courts recent decision requires First Nation consent for this kind of development within the Ktunaxa territory. Am I incorrect in understanding that the Ktunaxa oppose Jumbo Glacier Resort?

The Canada Free Press reported:

Unlike previous judgments, this ruling states that Aboriginal title can extend to all traditional territories and is not limited to specific villages. This is particularly important in B.C. where one-third of the countrys First Nations reserves reside and where outstanding claims involve more than 100 per cent of the provinces land….[and] project development requires the consent of the First Nation that holds title.

I am amazed that the B.C. government would provide public funds to improve road access to a proposed project for which the project proponents have not demonstrated that they have secured capital or a guarantee of capital for the project nor made the required substantive improvements. Where is the accountability for use of public funds in B.C.?

The Jumbo Glacier Resort environmental certificate expires in October of this year, unless the resorts proponents demonstrate substantial progress. This event would put the resort back to square one. It appears to be crunch time for this shaky resort proposal.

Clearly government is giving Jumbo Glacier Resort preferential treatment by proposing to expend public funds for road improvement. Is government also relying on citizens to be compliant?

Dave Haddon

Bigfork, Montana