Kootenay resident challenges Jumbo injunction application

The application to prevent Rob Meaney from blocking the road to Farnham Glacier will be heard today in the Vancouver Law Courts

Jumbo opponents marched through Baker Street on Friday evening.

A Kootenay resident is challenging Jumbo Glacier Resort’s application for an injunction to remove him from the Farnham Glacier Road near the proposed resort.

The application to prevent Rob Meaney from blocking the road to Farnham Glacier will be heard today in the Vancouver Law Courts, just days after the resort was able to move their construction machinery to the Farnham Glacier.

Jumbo Glacier Resorts Ltd. filed an injunction application on August 15 in Vancouver, saying that they were prevented from accessing the glacier by a van blocking the roadway on August 10.

“As far as I’m concerned, Glacier Resorts is trying to distract the public by creating the illusion of progress, despite their failure to commence construction before October 12, 2014”, said Meaney, referring to the deadline for construction imposed by the Environmental Assessment Certificate.

Meaney, a Johnsons Landing resident, spent time at the camp, and is now a defendant in the lawsuit and a respondent to the injunction application.

“The van wasn’t really blocking their passage, and the work they wanted to do was unauthorized,” said Meaney. “The whole thing is like a game of chess or hearts; we played a lot of hearts at the camp.”

In late July, about a dozen Kootenay residents set up a camp next to the Farnham Glacier road 50 km west of Invermere to monitor the resort’s activities at the glacier. They discovered that Jumbo Glacier Resorts intended to engage in unauthorized work on the glacier, Meaney said.

“We were concerned that the resort was going to alter the Farnham Glacier to allow for cat skiing on the glacier in August. According to the agreement the resort signed with the province, any alteration of any glacier is prohibited.”

Although the resort has now been given municipality status by the provincial government, Meaney said that opposition remains strong to the resort that has been contentious since it was proposed more than 20 years ago.

“A vast majority of Kootenay residents still oppose this resort. It’s their backyard and they know it won’t benefit them in the long run,” Meaney said.

“It’s a tough battle to fight, finding the balance between the actions we can take in the physical and legal worlds. It’s the glaciers and the grizzlies that are at risk, not papers and words.”

Two applications to stop construction of the resort have already been filed in BC Supreme Court.

One application by the Ktunaxa people in the East Kootenays contends that the Jumbo Glacier Resort failed to consult them and that the Jumbo Valley has significant sacred values for the people. This application is set to be heard over 10 days in January of 2014.

The second application by the West Kootenay EcoSociety in Nelson alleges that the  appointment of municipality status to the resort by the Province of BC contravenes the Charter of Rights. No court dates have been set to hear this application.

Jumbo Glacier Resort’s injunction application was first set for a hearing on August 19, but the hearing was adjourned to Monday, August 26 in Vancouver to allow for affidavit material.

East and West Kootenay citizens are still monitoring the resort’s actions, Meaney said.