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This Glacier Won’t Be Turned Into a Ski Resort After All

A billion-dollar plan to build a 6,300-bed resort in the glacial wilderness near Invermere is essentially dead in the water after B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak ruled Thursday that construction on the controversial Jumbo Glacier Resort did not start in time.

That means the project’s environmental assessment certificate has expired and the proponent, Glacier Resorts Ltd, would need to re-apply if it wanted to continue with the project.

 “We are overjoyed with the province’s decision,” said Robyn Duncan of Wildsight, a group that has fought the project for years. “This is the only reasonable outcome for this beleaguered project.”

The province granted an environmental assessment certificate to Glacier Resorts Ltd. in 2004 and the certificate was renewed in 2009. It could not be renewed for a second time, and the Environmental Assessment Act requires that projects be “substantially started” within the time limit set out in the certificate.

Polak ruled that the project hadn’t been “substantially started” by Oct. 12, 2014, 10 years after the certificate was issued.

Last fall, DeSmog Canada published a 13-part series on Jumbo Glacier Resort, examining concerns about democracy, court challenges to the project, the concerns of the Ktunaxa Nation, threats to grizzlies and the threat posed by climate change to the Jumbo Glacier.

Photo: Howard P Smith, phototide.com

Like a kid in a candy store
When those boxes of heavily redacted documents start to pile in, reporters at The Narwhal waste no time in looking for kernels of news that matter the most. Just ask our Prairies reporter Drew Anderson, who gleefully scanned through freedom of information files like a kid in a candy store, leading to pretty damning revelations in Alberta. Long story short: the government wasn’t being forthright when it claimed its pause on new renewable energy projects wasn’t political. Just like that, our small team was again leading the charge on a pretty big story

In an oil-rich province like Alberta, that kind of reporting is crucial. But look at our investigative work on TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline to the west, or our Greenbelt reporting out in Ontario. They all highlight one thing: those with power over our shared natural world don’t want you to know how — or why — they call the shots. And we try to disrupt that.

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Like a kid in a candy store
When those boxes of heavily redacted documents start to pile in, reporters at The Narwhal waste no time in looking for kernels of news that matter the most. Just ask our Prairies reporter Drew Anderson, who gleefully scanned through freedom of information files like a kid in a candy store, leading to pretty damning revelations in Alberta. Long story short: the government wasn’t being forthright when it claimed its pause on new renewable energy projects wasn’t political. Just like that, our small team was again leading the charge on a pretty big story

In an oil-rich province like Alberta, that kind of reporting is crucial. But look at our investigative work on TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline to the west, or our Greenbelt reporting out in Ontario. They all highlight one thing: those with power over our shared natural world don’t want you to know how — or why — they call the shots. And we try to disrupt that.

Our journalism is powered by people just like you. We never take corporate ad dollars, or put this public-interest information behind a paywall. Will you join the pod of Narwhals that make a difference by helping us uncover some of the most important stories of our time?

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