Alex Atamanenko, Member of Parliament for BC Southern Interior voiced his dismay and anger at the B.C. provincial government’s approval of the controversial Jumbo Alpine Glacier Resort.
“The Liberal government has seen fit to make this decision in spite of years of fighting against the development of Jumbo by communities and individuals. Ignoring the voice of the people and paving the way for an unwanted development is short-sighted and irresponsible,” said the NDP MP. “What is this government doing?”
If built, the $1-billion Jumbo Glacier Resort would create a ski resort and recreational city on Crown land in the remote Jumbo Valley in the Purcell Mountains, 55 kilometres from Invermere. The site is home to grizzly bears and other wildlife whose habitat will be impacted by the development. The site is also carries historic and spiritual significance for the Ktunaxa First Nation.
“This decision goes against the wishes of rural communities, a First Nation and the environment,” said Atamanenko.
“The Jumbo resort is being proposed in a region that already has a dozen ski resorts within 150 kilometres. The proposed access road upgrade is at great taxpayer expense. Climate change is a fact of life. Why the province chose to make this decision at this time is incomprehensible. Which British Columbians are benefitting from this project?”
Jumbo developers are still looking for investors to finance the plans for the resort, which has divided residents in the Kootenays for more than two decades. “This decision makes no sense, economically and environmentally,” said Atamanenko.
Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall and the provincial NDP have also voiced disappointment in the decision by the Liberal government, saying that to come down on the wrong side of the region is unacceptable.
Atamanenko agrees: “I think that the Liberals will find that they will still have a fight on their hands when it comes to making the plans for Jumbo a reality,” he said.