The Jumbo Resort is a step closer after the province approved the project's master development agreement today.

UPDATED: Jumbo Glacier Resort approved

The B.C. Liberal government announced its approval of the Jumbo Glacier Resort today.



The long-debated Jumbo Glacier Resort is another step closer to reality, after the B.C. government announced its approval of a master development agreement for the controversial ski resort today.

Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson and Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett made the announcement together in Victoria, and characterized the decision as a tough but necessary step for the government.

“I made this decision after reviewing all of the relevant, extensive documentation on this file as well as visting the site and meeting with both first nations and the proponent,” said Thomson. “I respect that there have been differing views on this project, but after 20 years of this extensive review it was time to make a decision.”

Bennett, a longtime supporter of the project and the BC Liberal MLA closest to the Jumbo area, said he hoped the decision would allow communities divided by the issue to heal.

“It’s divided our communities and we wanted it over. We wanted a decision from government and I can’t thank my friend Steve enough for having the courage to make this decision,” he told media.

The master development agreement lays out the terms and conditions under which the resort can be developed and allows proponents Glacier Resorts Ltd. to move forward with phased development of 6,250 beds, up to 23 ski lifts and a 3,000 metre-high gondola.

A wildlife management zone will also be established in the area, which Thomson said should address concerns by the Ktunaxa Nation. The Ktunaxa have opposed the resort’s development because of the area’s spiritual significance, which is tied to its grizzly population.

Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald, who has opposed the development, called the decision “disrespectful” to those who oppose the project locally.

“It’s incredibly disrespectful, to go pretty much as far from Invermere as you can to make this announcement,” he said. “The government knows that this is an issue that people in Invermere care about, and they chose to hide away in Victoria and make the announcement there, in front of people that largely will not understand the issue the way people here do.”

But Bennett said making the announcement in “neutral” territory was part of the government’s plan.

“I think you would have ended up with 1,000 people on either side of the street,” had the announcement been made in Invermere, he said. “You would have had the proponents on one side of the street shouting how much they support it and you would have had 1,000 people on the other side of the street shouting about why it shouldn’t happen. It would have perpetuated the sort of dynamic that has existed in our communities and we’ve had enough of that.”

From here, GRL will have go through what ministry staff called a “relatively minor permitting process” to have lands in the Jumbo area rezoned. That could be done via the Regional District of East Kootenay, by having the area annexed for management by a nearby municipality, or by dubbing Jumbo a mountain resort municipality.

Glacier Resorts has already put in a request for resort municipality status, which the province is reviewing — though approval or rejection of the plan would be the responsibility of the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

News of the announcement comes about a month after a delegation of local business owners, politicians and the resort’s proponents spent a week promoting the resort in France. A reciprocal trip by French investors is planned for this spring.

However, Thomson told The Echo the trip had no bearing on his decision.

Keep watching invermerevalleyecho.com for more updates as this story breaks.

Just Posted

CSRD hosting open house regarding landfill

There will be an open house February 1 at the Golden and District Recreation Centre hosted by CSRD.

Wayne Stetski and Forest Products Association of Canada CEO visit Golden

MP Wayne Stetski and Forest Products Association of Canada CEO Derek Nighbor toured LP Mill.

New massage clinic in Golden

A new massage clinic opened in Golden to help ease those aches and pains.

Hockey commentator gets his start

Lukas Pfisterer is just 12-years-old, but already making his mark as a commentator.

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

Most Read