This year, for the first time in a long time, I’m going to be sending a Valentine’s Day card. It’s going to Premier Christy Clark and it will be big and red and will say, “I Love Jumbo Wild!”
Rumours have been flying that the BC government will soon be making an announcement about the Jumbo Glacier Resort proposal and the future of the Central Purcell Mountains. The Jumbo Wild! coalition is asking everyone to send a Valentine’s card to the BC government to help them remember how much we like Jumbo Pass and the Jumbo Valley just the way they are.
The proposal to build a Whistler-style ski city in the Jumbo Valley has been in the works for 20 years. During that time, many residents on both sides of the Purcells (East and West Kootenays) have repeatedly told various governments that this is an inappropriate development for our area. Grizzly bear biologists and others have pointed out again and again how important the Central Purcells are to grizzly and other animal populations. And how damaging a 6,000 person real estate development would be to that wilderness habitat.
Now, the Ktunaxa Nation’s recently released economic analysis of the resort proposal echoes what we Jumbo Wild! activists have been saying for years. The study notes the dwindling number of international ski tourists coming to BC, concluding that existing resorts can only be hurt by the addition of a new one. The number of skiers has been falling steadily in BC as it has been everywhere else in the world. The report also cites the infrastructural costs that would inevitably be borne by the taxpayer. The defenders of this proposal are functioning on an archaic understanding of world economics.
At the very least, the proponent for the Jumbo City should be required to update its Master Plan to reflect changing economic and environmental realities. Better yet, Christy Clark could reassure those of us in the Kootenays who are wondering if the term “democracy” still has any meaning by putting an end to this proposal. The local, provincial, national and international opposition to the Jumbo Glacier Resort will never cease so Clark should stop wasting people’s time and resources and let us put our energies to other, better uses.