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

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Finn Lydon. Photo: Submitted
UPDATE: Winlaw boy reported missing has been found

Finn Lydon was was located last evening

Dr. Albert de Villiers, Chief Medical Health Officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
‘People need to start listening’: IH top doc combats COVID-19 misconceptions

Dr. Albert de Villiers says light at the end of the tunnel will grow in step with people’s adherence to PHO guidance

(File)
One death and 82 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

1,981 total cases, 609 are active and those individuals are on isolation

Interior Health has set up a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar doctors and mayor urge residents to take COVID-19 seriously as cases are confirmed in the city

“Your doctors would like you to understand we do now have Covid cases here”

Youth Climate Corps members April Gariepy, Summer Monkman and Linn Murray at work in West Arm Provincial Park, fall 2020. Photo: Submitted
Youth Climate Corps members April Gariepy, Summer Monkman and Linn Murray at work in West Arm Provincial Park. fall 2020. Photo submitted
VIDEO: Kootenay youth climate group works to protect Nelson’s water supply

Youth Climate Corps members spent five weeks thinning forest in West Arm Park

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Melissa David, of Parachutes for Pets and her dogs Hudson and Charlie are trying to raise money for a homeless shelter that will allow pets and are seen in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘My only wish:’ Children asking pet charity to help their furry friends at Christmas

Parachutes for Pets says it has received 14 letters from children in the last week t

Melissa Velden and her chef-husband Chris Velden, stand in their dining room at the Flying Apron Inn and Cookery in Summerville, N.S. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. The couple is hosting holiday parties with appropriate distancing and other COVID-19 health protocols in place at their restaurant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Celebrities, Santa and Zoom part of office holiday parties being held amid COVID-19

Many will send tokens of appreciation to workers or offer time off or cash

Richard Reeves examines a painted film strip in his home studio. Photo: Aaron Hemens
PHOTOS: Pandemic inspires creativity for Creston animator Richard Reeves

For more than 30 years, Richard Reeves has been creating abstract animated short-films by drawing and painting images onto strips of film.

Good Samaritan Mountainview Village located at 1540 KLO Road in Kelowna. (Good Samaritan Society)
First long-term care resident dies from COVID-19 in Interior Health

Man in his 80s dies following virus outbreak at Mountainview Village

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

Most Read