By Dan Walton
Bridges have been installed and groundwork is underway in the Jumbo Valley, with the projects environmental certificate less than two weeks away from its expiry or renewal date.
Also, the presence of an adequate flow of potable groundwater on site was proven last month after the drilling of a test well.
During a visit from The Pioneer on Friday, September 26th, styrofoam insulation was being installed as part of the foundation, with concrete expected to fill the frame before the renewal of the environmental certificate.
But at the nearby watchdog camp which monitors Jumbos construction activity, opponents of the project say the work done so far may be too little, too late.
Glacier Resorts Ltd. are behind the eight ball, said Wildsight member Jim Galloway. The deadline October 12th is only a few weeks away, so theyre working feverishly to make a big impression and to convince the government that theyve made a substantial start, but they really havent, and Im sure they wont.
Since construction began in August, contractors have been following recommendations made by the environmental monitoring company overseeing the project, ENKON, which, as of press deadline, had not halted or altered the construction process.
Were careful; we plan ahead and follow [ENKONs] precautions to minimize environmental impact, said Glacier Resorts Ltd. vice president Grant Costello. They wrote an environmental management plan, our job is to follow the [resorts] master plan and abide by conditions of the environmental certificate.
Opponents of the project say they have occupied the watchdog camp to ensure proper scrutiny of the development.
Were concerned that the promoters of this project wont meet certain conditions that theyre supposed to meet before they commence construction, and Im concerned that the government will let them get away with it, Mr. Galloway said. And were doing our best to prevent that.
The RCMP has not been called to the site since construction began, but Staff Sgt Marko Shehovac said that the local detachment visits the camp each week. He said that the relationship between those involved with the watchdog camp and the construction crew has been relatively good so far.
The Pioneer contacted the provincial Ministry of Environment for comment on the story, but did not hear back prior to press deadline.
For a more comprehensive look at whats going on, visit The Pioneers Facebook page, where a photo album of the construction work has been posted.