Editors note: Part two of this Letter to the Editor will appear in next weeks issue.
Nearly all Jumbo articles need some correction to unravel the confusion (intentional or not) that infuses the words from Glacier Resorts Ltd., political wannabes, and provincial ministers or their spokespeople. On page 3 of your July 4th issue is an article that implies that Bill Bennett believes that …the Ministry of Transport (MOT) is legally responsible for…the road (up Jumbo Creek). [Editors note: In parenthesis should have read Toby Creek. The Pioneer apologizes for any confusion.] The reason given for this is that …the responsibility for the road had transferred from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations to the MOT some years ago.
A geographical/historical understanding could help clear the air. When you leave the pavement, near Panorama, the Toby Creek Highway number signs start over at 0 kilometres. At 19 kilometres, you are basically at the end of the Toby Highway and close to where Jumbo Creek flows into Toby Creek. This is also close to what once was the Mineral King Mine. A turnoff at 19 kilometres is also the start of the Jumbo Creek Forest Service Road, where numbering starts again at 0 kilometres.
Why did I call the Toby Road a highway? Because it was taken over by the MOT a long time ago, when Bill Bennett was very young. The Mineral King Mine was in full operation from 1953 to 1967. A town grew up that had family homes, a curling rink, store, school, post office and more. Residents enjoyed dances, parties, movies once a week, and (get this!) even a library in the community hall. Thus, in the days when municipalities were recognized because people lived there, the real community named Toby Creek needed a MOT-maintained highway link to the rest of B.C.
A commercial operation starting a business in the mountains doesnt mean that MOT obligingly takes over the maintenance of the road. Think of Bugaboo Lodge or other operations way up in the mountains on a Forest Service Road. Though unlikely, maybe some day there will be a town where people actually live year-round up Jumbo Creek. And, should an over-zealous promoter ever start constructing a road in anticipation of this happy event, then clearly the MOT should be watching over its design and construction so that when they end up taking over the maintenance, they know it has been built properly and wont become a maintenance money sink-hole.
The question is, who pays for all this technical work years before it is even known whether an investor can be found to put money into the unreal Jumbo Dream of Glacier Resorts Ltd.?