Greg Deck, the provincial government-appointed mayor of the Jumbo Glacier Resort municipality, thinks there will eventually be a ski resort at Jumbo.
He told the Star today that yesterday’s decision by the provincial government is “a big setback by any measure. We are concerned that it is not going to be a quick return to the kind of development activity we were trying to foster.”
His comments follow a decision by environment minister Mary Polak that the environmental certificate held by Jumbo Glacier Resorts Ltd. for its $1 billion ski resort and real estate development is cancelled and cannot be renewed because work on the project was not substantially started by the expiry date of October 12, 2014. The only way for the company to continue would be to apply for a new environmental certificate, a lengthy and costly process.
The Jumbo Glacier Resort Municipality was created by the province in 2013 to provide certainty that the land would be used for a ski hill and residential development. The municipality has no residents and no infrastructure, and receives $250,000 per year in provincial funding.
But Deck still thinks the municipality could serve skiers under some future project, and he sounds ready to promote that vision.
“The attributes that made it the perfect place for skiing have not gone away,” Deck said. “In late April when everyone else was dying for snow, there was 1.1 meters (at the lower levels) at Jumbo. Whether it is this proponent or another one later, people will be proud to take people there to ski in the same way they are proud to take people to Lake Louise.”
As for the immediate fate of the municipality following Polak’s decision, Deck said the municipality “exists at the pleasure of the province,” and he said he does not know what the province’s intentions are.