Invermere mayor challenged on Jumbo stance

an Invermere resident questioned Invermere mayor Gerry Taft’s stance on the Jumbo municipality

The topics of Jumbo Glacier Resort and Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality continue to generate discussion in the valley after an Invermere resident questioned Invermere mayor Gerry Taft’s stance on the municipality at the most recent Invermere council meeting.

Brandishing a copy of the October 1st Valley Echo and referencing its front page story about Mr. Taft’s motion at the recent Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) meeting criticizing municipalities without residents at the October 14th Invermere council meeting, audience member Mike Gagne pointedly asked Mr. Taft why he introduced such a motion.

“How does it benefit Invermere to take these (anti-Jumbo municipality) positions?” said Mr. Gagne.

Mr. Taft responded that the motion grew out of his frustration at what he sees as the discrepancy between the province saying it doesn’t have enough money to help fund municipal projects such as Invermere’s new multi-use centre and the province then giving $200,000 a year in grant money to Jumbo municipality, as well as his belief that the process of creating Jumbo municipality was wrong.

“When you fundamentally disagree with something, you should stand up for it,” said Mr. Taft.

“Whether or not you agree with having a ski resort up there, there’s no question in my mind that setting that up should follow the same process that other ski resorts in the East Kootenay have been through, with rezoning decisions made by elected officials at the regional district.”

Mr. Taft said that in making the motion at the UBCM meeting, he was simply doing what the majority of his constituents would support him doing on the Jumbo issue.

“I do believe I’m representing the majority of the people in the district on this. People come up to me all the time and say ‘thank you’,” he said, clarifying that his chief concern is Jumbo municipality and the processes behind its creation, rather than the planned Jumbo resort.

“My issue is around the municipality,” said Mr. Taft. “I’ve done everything I can do to raise awareness about how more than $1 million of public money is being spent to set up a municipality in order to circumvent the normal regional district zoning process that other ski areas in the East Kootenay go through.

“Invermere has more to gain from this project than any other town. These positions you take are not in the best interest of Invermere,” responded Mr. Gagne, adding that Mr. Taft’s moves could quite possibly end up hurting businesses here and that future efforts to, for instance, get Jumbo municipality to throw in funding for valley-wide projects will fall on deaf ears.

“I would hope that they (Jumbo governments officials) wouldn’t be so vindictive as to say you’ll never get any money ever, since you pissed us off on this one issue,” responded Mr. Taft, adding he feels speaking up on an issue you disagree with is a good way to get it dealt with.

“The squeaky wheel gets attention,” he said.

Councillor Greg Anderson said the motion presented at the UBCM started during an Invermere council — where not all councillors agreed with it, but a majority did — so it went on the Association of Kootenay and Boundary Local Goverment (AKBLG) meeting, where a majority again agreed with the motion, so it then went on the UBCM.

The motion followed due process, said Mr. Anderson, adding now that the UBCM has voted to take the matter to the province, it is finished as far as Invermere council is concerned.



Just Posted

RCMP Report

Some of the more notable files from Columbia Valley RCMP week of August 12-18th

Rossland council urges minister to kill Jumbo Glacier Resort project

Mayor writes letter panning ski resort on environmental, legal, and economic grounds

Legend of the book bike

Book fairy hands out books to lucky recipients who spot her

Summer Snack Program helps local kids in need of a good lunch

Summit Youth Centre is giving tasty, nutritious lunches and snacks to Columbia Valley kids.

Bounding into the great outdoors

Playwest Mountain Experience takes hikers into the wilderness.

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Most Read