By Nicole Trigg
The legal infrastructure set up by the Liberal government in 2012 to support the Mountain Resort Municipality of Jumbo Glacier Resort remains intact now that the Premier Christy Clark has led her party to power, despite losing her own seat in the process.
Instead of an NDP provincial government to turn back the tide and rescind the resorts MRM status which would have effectively disabled the entire project opponents of Jumbo Glacier Resort are still counting on several factors to sway the outcome their way and prevent the resort from ever happening in Jumbo Valley.
Two are lawsuits that question the ethics, morality and basic constitutionality around the Liberal governments handling of the resort thus far. The Ktunaxa First Nation is calling for a judicial review of the Provinces approval of the Master Development Plan, which gave the resorts proponents the green light to proceed. The judicial review by the West Kootenay EcoSociety in Nelson challenges giving municipality status to a wilderness area over which jurisdiction has been given to appointed, not elected, officials.
Intervention by the Union of B.C. Municipalities was also counted upon, to question the provincial governments interpretation of local governance, which, by many accounts, is seen as being skewed towards business and not democratic principles. Seeing as the UBCM is now bowing out of the turmoil, at least for now, opponents have a final card up their sleeve the economic viability, or lack thereof, of a resort perched away in the wilderness, three hours away from a major city centre, on melting glaciers, in uncertain economic times amidst a dying ski industry. The unfortunate aspect of this factor is that it doesnt kick in until the resort is either semi- or fully constructed, and its too late. However, with activities on Farnham already becoming part of the tourism offerings of the area, for which communities must work together as a region to market, local opposing sides may soon find themselves jumping the Jumbo hurdles together.