Dear Editor:

On June 16th, I had the ignominious pleasure to attend a public hearing which was held in Radium Hot Springs municipal offices for input to a Official Community Plan cobbled together by unelected politicians for a zero population community, miles from nowhere, in B.C. wilderness the Jumbo Glacier Ski Resort Development, ostensibly the brainchild of an architect, Oberto Oberti of Vancouver, B.C. that has been wasting our precious time for decades.

While thinking about what I would be able to contribute to the public hearing without giving credence to a clearly flawed process I came up with many things to say, particularly after reading the OCP document which is full of half-truths and outright misrepresentations of the facts.

When I did speak, however, I decided not to belabour the facts since to me the process has been a sham designed solely so the politicians could say that public input had been solicited. I decided instead to focus on a single truth, and it is unsavoury but needed to be said. To me the best words to describe what is being done to the Jumbo Wilderness, in worship of the almighty dollar, are spiritual genocide.

Most readers should be familiar with a recent government report which used the words cultural genocide to describe what was done in the past to native populations in Canada. So how did I get from cultural to spiritual genocide? Frankly it was quite easy.

I heard, more than once, the Ktunaxa First Nation speak about their ancestral and sacred lands, Qatmuk and the Grizzly Bear Spirit, and the meaning of the lands to them not just in the past, but also today and into the future. I could not help but be angered by the sections in the bogus OCP (page 10, Sec 3.3 and 3.4) which refer to a First Nations Interpretative Centre, and I thought to myself, such an interpretive centre must be the new glass beads and mirrors. The only thing more offensive to me has been Obertis assertion that there is no such thing as Qatmuk or the Grizzly Bear Spirit in his Jumbo area.

And I must say that it is a blatant lie, propagated by government and the proponents, that this project has gone through the most exhaustive public consultation in B.C. history. Really? In stark contrast to all the shenanigans going back a quarter century, the only really truthful act that has come from government has been the cancellation of the Environmental Certificate by Minister Mary Polak. Thank you, Madame, for having the courage to do the right thing.

Gurmeet Brar

Radium Hot Springs