BC’s Environment Minister is tasked with deciding the fate of a resort planned for the Jumbo area.
This after Friday’s BC Supreme Court decision which found a ruling from 2014 unreasonable.
The ruling four years ago halted the project as the developer had not significantly begun construction of Jumbo Glacier Resort.
The BC Government will likely decide whether or not the resort will be built in the next few months.
Environmental group Ecojustice has released a statement regarding the court’s decision.
They hope the decision will encourage the government to deliver on its promise to fix the province’s broken environmental assessment laws.
The Jumbo Creek Conservation Society says the developer has had more than sufficient time to get the project off the ground but has failed to do so.
Meanwhile the Ktunaxa Nation says they’re deeply disappointed with the BC Supreme Court ruling.
In a statement they say “While our concerns about the proposed ski resort’s profound negative impacts to Ktunaxa spirituality, culture and identity remain paramount for us,” said Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Council Chair, “the court’s decision should concern all British Columbians given its potentially negative consequences for the environmental assessment process.”
“We also note that this court decision is not a green light for the project to proceed. The court merely asked the current minister to re-consider Minister Polak’s 2015 decision with more attention to ‘mitigating circumstances’.”
The decision under court review was the June 18, 2015 termination of the Jumbo Glacier Ski Resort’s EA certificate because the project had not been substantially started by October 12, 2014, a date identified in the certificate.
The court said that the Minister had not adequately considered factors other than what the proponent had built on the ground.
Unless the Province appeals the court’s decision, the present Minister of Environment, George Heyman, must reconsider whether the project had been substantially started by the October 12, 2014 deadline. If so, the proponent may be able to build a large ski resort in Qat’muk, an area of profound spiritual and cultural significance for Ktunaxa citizens. Given the importance of the Minister’s decision, the Ktunaxa Nation looks forward to providing meaningful input, as it did when the first no substantial start decision was made in 2015.
“The irony of the situation is not lost on us,” Ms. Teneese commented. “In the past, the courts went to great lengths to try to justify the Province’s failure to even consider the Ktunaxa right to freedom of religion under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms regarding this ski resort.
For the developer, however, the court was more than willing to cancel the Province’s decision because something wasn’t apparently adequately addressed in the Province’s decision.”
– Files from BC Government, Ktunaxa Nation