Howard-P-Smith_First-Light-on-Jumbo.jpg

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

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Thanks for being an avid reader of our in-depth journalism, which is read by millions and made possible thanks to more than 4,200 readers just like you.

The Narwhal's growing team is hitting the ground running in 2022 to tell stories about the natural world that go beyond doom-and-gloom headlines — and we need your support.

Our model of independent, non-profit journalism means we can pour resources into doing the kind of environmental reporting you won’t find anywhere else in Canada, from investigations that hold elected officials accountable to deep dives showcasing the real people enacting real climate solutions.

There’s no advertising or paywall on our website (we believe our stories should be free for all to read), which means we count on our readers to give whatever they can afford each month to keep The Narwhal’s lights on.

The amazing thing? Our faith is being rewarded. We hired seven new staff over the past year and won a boatload of awards for our features, our photography and our investigative reporting.

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