The future of Jumbo Glacier Resort may be in doubt after a recent government decision sent the developer back to square one, but the West Kootenay EcoSociety has not given up its legal challenge to Jumbo resort municipality.
The Nelson-based group will go to court this week in a bid to overturn the 2012 creation of the municipality on the grounds that while it has an appointed mayor and council and has received over $450,000 in provincial funding, it is unconstitutional because it has no residents.
The case will be heard in BC Supreme Court in Vancouver starting today. The EcoSociety is represented by Judah Harrison of Nelson and Jason Gratl of Vancouver. The case, initially filed in February 2013 and amended last August, was originally set to be heard in Vancouver in February but was adjourned after lawyers for the municipality presented new evidence.
“The Jumbo Valley is still at risk as long as there is a city council waiting to approve a development,” said executive director David Reid. “It’s time to put this issue to rest once and for all, and getting rid of this so-called city is an important step.”
Reid says the case has ramifications beyond the development of a remote wilderness. “We are a small non-profit community organization challenging the BC legislature and the lieutenant governor in council over the use of public resources to support corporate interests. Our case says that local decision making matters.”
The West Coast Environmental Law Foundation has supported for the case and the EcoSociety has launched a crowdsourcing page on defendbc.ca to help cover the remaining legal costs.
The Jumbo ski resort project lost its environmental approval from the province last month after failing to substantially start within a ten-year window.