LETTER: End Jumbo charade

Reader Craig Pettitt criticizes the idea of Jumbo municipality creating an official community plan.

The Valhalla Wilderness Society is appalled that the government continues to undermine some of our society’s most fundamental democratic values with the development of a so-called Official Community Plan for the Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality. An OCP can only be developed with input from residents who elect their municipal councillors.

Given that there are no residents in the Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality and no elections took place, government should stop this farcical OCP process. It is shameful that the BC government wastes taxpayers’ money to fund this virtual municipality to the tune of $200,000 per annum, while at the same time severely underfunding BC parks and cutting back on park ranger positions.

Valhalla Wilderness, together with many other environmental organizations and thousands of British Columbians, has been fighting for decades to keep Jumbo Wild. The Jumbo Pass area is home to blue-listed species such as grizzly bears, wolverines, bull and cutthroat trout as well as mountain goats that are sensitive to human encroachment. These beautiful mountains provide critical habitat and connectivity for a number of species, including the Central Purcell grizzly bears whose survival depends on large intact wilderness areas.

Clearly, the so-called OCP is already falling short of its stated goals, including to “protect and enhance environmental values and assets” and to “foster cooperation with First Nations.” Valhalla Wilderness calls on government to end this charade of a municipality with no residents and stop wasting taxpayers’ funds to subsidize a corporate development that should never have been approved in the first place.

Craig Pettitt, Director

Valhalla Wilderness Society

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