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Posted: May 3, 2012

Olympians speak out on Jumbo

Letter to the Editor

We are Canadian Olympic and Para-Olympic medalists who love winter sport, and have depended on it for our livelihoods.  But we recognize there are limits to development, when enough is enough, when bigger values and

Windermere resident Doug Anakin, right, with fellow bobsled team winners Vic Emery, John Emery and Peter Kirby

the future of our children’s heritage is at stake.  That is why we are opposed to the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort.

It’s unfortunate that the province has given the okay to a remote real estate development tied to melting glaciers, smack in the heart of critically important grizzly bear range. It makes no sense. This proposal isn’t about skiing, it’s about real estate.

The proposed resort lies 55 kilometres from the nearest community. While nearby world class ski resorts adjacent to communities on Canada’s major transportation routes are already competing to fill their facilities, Jumbo Resort would require a provincial road through some of the most avalanche prone terrain imaginable.

Peer-reviewed science unanimously attests to the significance of these lands to grizzly bears. The development would fracture wildlife connections critical to the long-term health of the North American grizzly bear population.

The Ktunaxa First Nation, in whose territory the development is proposed, is strongly opposed Jumbo Glacier Resort as a threat to the sacred land of the grizzly bear spirit.

We are blessed in British Columbia to have retained much of our wild inheritance.  The Alps on the other hand, with their busy peaks and valleys are bereft of wildlife.  European tourists flock to Canada in search of that lost wilderness, not to see a faux Euro-style resort.

A remote resort on melting glaciers will not strengthen British Columbian communities. Cutting the ski-tourism pie ever thinner to compete with the region’s world-class ski destinations would only drain community-based livelihoods. For over 20 years, local opinion has remained overwhelmingly opposed to the resort.

The fate of Jumbo is far from a ‘done deal.’ Surely there must be a better way. Canadians will Keep Jumbo Wild.

We, the undersigned:

Beckie Scott, Silver, 2006 Olympics, Gold, 2002 Olympics Nordic Skiing

Scott Niedermayer, Gold, 2002, 2010 Olympics, Hockey

Sara Renner, Silver, 2006 Olympics, Nordic Skiing

Josh Dueck, Silver, 2010 Para-Olympics, Alpine Sit-Ski Slalom

Thomas Grandi, Alpine Skier, 2002, 2006 Olympian and Gold, 2004 World Cup

Jon Montgomery, Gold, 2010 Olympics, Skeleton

Doug Anakin, Gold, 1964, Bobsled

Kristin Groves, 2 Silvers, 2006 Olympics, 2 Silvers, 2010 Olympics, Speedskating

Emily Brydon, Alpine Skiing 2002, 2006, 2010 Olympian and World Cup Gold Medalist

Above image of Beckie Scott from Canadian Olympic Committee

Image of Thomas Grandi from Ski Press World

Image of ‘the playboy bobsleigh team’ receiving gold – Innsbruck, 1964. Peter Kirby, Douglas Anakin and John and Vic Emery. Image from CollectionsCanada.gc.ca

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