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Posted: February 21, 2013

Jumbo protestors converge on village

(See our photo feature below…)

About 135 people converged in Radium Hot Springs Feb. 19 to voice their opposition to the inaugural Jumbo Glacier Resort Municipality (JGRM) council meeting and the proposed ski resort proposal.

Another 15 or so supporters stood between the people demonstrating against the proposed $500 million to $1 billion resort proposal for the upper Jumbo Creek Valley and the Village of Radium Hot Springs office, where the JGRM council meeting was being held.

Demonstrators came from all over the Kootenays, including two representing the West Kootenay EcoSociety packing a writ for Jumbo Glacier Resort vice-president Grant Costello. The EcoSociety Feb. 18 filed an application for a Judicial Review of the Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality at the B.C. Courthouse in Nelson.

The West Kootenay visitors successfully presented Costello with the writ at the outset of the Jumbo council meeting, prompting Costello to comment, “I’ll see you in court.”

Demonstrators also arrived from Cranbrook, Kimberley, Wasa, Golden and Calgary.

Additionally, their chanting and banging on the walls and window to the Radium council chambers forced meeting participants to almost shout to be heard. Eventually, long-time Jumbo opponent and former District of Invermere councilor Bob Campsall asked if he could step outside to quiet the crowd. Before the meeting, Campsall led the rally in front of the village office.

Among the demonstrators Tuesday afternoon were members of Wildsight.

“This sets a new precedent for democracy, local governance and land-use decisions in British Columbia. Democracy does not have a place at this table,” stated Robyn Duncan, Wildsight program manager Wildsight.

The launch of the new municipal government, which oversees nary a citizen or small shack, prompted sharp comments from Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald in the Legislature Feb. 19.

“The first meeting of the appointed council of the Jumbo municipality was greeted with a demonstration against a land giveaway that has absolutely no evidence of local support, and has no democratic basis. The minister talks about a massive investment but neglects to mention that there is actually no investor,” Macdonald said.

“The money the minister is spending is public money. The land that is being given away is public land. And the benefits are entirely to be enjoyed by a small group of BC Liberal insiders.

“How can the minister possibly justify this waste of taxpayer dollars?” Macdonald asked of Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Bill Bennett, who is MLA of the neighbouring Kootenay East riding.

“There is not one building in Jumbo. There is not one paved road. There is not one resident. And that is not likely to change at any time because there is also no investor,” Macdonald pushed, adding, “With no investors other than the taxpayers of B.C., what is the government doing proceeding with this waste of taxpayers’ money?”

Please see video of exchange between the two MLAs…

Jumbo Glacier Resort Municipality – Norm Macdonald, MLA – February 19, 2013

West Kootenay EcoSociety judicial challenge, that the Letters Patent of the Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality violate the Canadian constitution by creating a municipality with no residents, is the second to be launched.

In November 2012 the Ktunaxa Nation filed a challenge stating that the signing of the Master Development Agreement did not take into consideration their Aboriginal Rights and Title to the area, known to them as Qat’muk.

Please our separate story on the inaugural Jumbo council meeting… https://www.e-know.ca/news/jumbo-council-launches/

Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

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