Breaking News: Court keeps Jumbo wild… for now

The Jumbo Valley still remains wild thanks to a BC Court of Appeal ruling.

In 2015, the Environment Minister at the time, BC Liberal Mary Polak, noted the developer, Glacier Resorts, had not made enough progress to maintain their permits. The developer received its environmental approval 10 years prior and had not substantially started the project.

Glacier Resorts didn’t like that ruling and took the Province to court. The matter has finally been settled with the Appeals Court decision this week.

The Ktunaxa Nation went to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2017 to seek protection for Qat’muk, the Ktunaxa traditional name for this region. Qat’muk is the critical home to animals like grizzly bears, and to the Grizzly Bear Spirit. It’s an important spiritual place for the Ktunaxa. But sadly, this right was not recognized by Canada’s Supreme Court. The Ktunaxa are pleased with this BC Court of Appeal Decision.

EcoSociety took the province to court arguing the creation of the Jumbo Glacier Resort Municipality by the Province in 2012 was unlawful and unconstitutional, but lost. While it’s still ridiculous that there is an appointed mayor and two councilors to the Jumbo municipality that has no actual residents, the BC Court’s decision is an important roadblock for developers. If Glacier Resorts wants to develop the resort, they need to restart the environmental permitting process.

There are big hurdles in the way of getting another environmental assessment that allows a certificate to develop. Climate impacts are more apparent in the area than they were in 2004, and the Ktunaxa remain opposed to the development and released a Qat’muk Declaration.

This BC Court decision is another nail in the coffin for the development of a year round ski resort on a shrinking glacier in the pristine Purcell wilderness, but Qat’muk is still not protected from development and not managed by the Ktunaxa First Peoples.

Send a message to George Heyman, BC’s Environment and Climate Change Minister ENV.Minister@gov.bc.ca right now and tell him:

1) You stand behind a wild Jumbo (Qat’muk) Valley 

2) You support the Qat’muk Declaration

3) Dissolve the municipality of Jumbo and unappoint the mayor and two councilors from a city without any people who actually live in it.

For a wild Qat’muk,

Montana on behalf of the EcoSociety team

(Photo by Pat Morrow.)