VANCOUVER BC – The Supreme Court of British Columbia today dismissed an application by the Ktunaxa Nation Council to quash the Master Development Agreement between Glacier Resorts Ltd. and the Province for the development of Jumbo Glacier Resort, North America’s first year round glacier skiing resort.
Mr. Justice Savage issued his decision in Ktunaxa Nation Council v. British Columbia (Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations) and found that, “The approval of the MDA does not infringe section 2(a) of the Charter. In any event, the decision to approve the MDA with the various conditions and accommodations represents a reasonable balancing of Charter values and statutory objectives.”
“The Supreme Court’s decision is welcome,” said Grant Costello, Senior Vice-President of Glacier Resorts Ltd., “this project has undergone 23 years of comprehensive public consultations – more than all the other new B.C. ski resort proposals combined. To quash over two decades of work on a project that has been declared to be in the public interest would further the injustice done to project proponents and supporters.”
Glacier Resorts continues to appreciate the leadership and friendship of the Shuswap Band, who have shown the way of cooperation, which may help pave the way to a cooperative future with the Ktunaxa Nation as well.
Glacier Resorts is continuing with its construction plans for this summer, also with the cooperation of the Shuswap, who are the nearest First Nation to the resort site.
The resort will be located in an abandoned sawmill site in the upper Jumbo Valley and will provide access to four large glaciers for year-round skiing and spectacular sightseeing. It will have the longest vertical drop in North America in the legendary all-natural snow of the Purcell Mountains and will open the door to first full year-round, high-alpine skiing in North America. Canadian athletes have been summer training on the glaciers of the proposed ski area since 2003.
Architect Oberto Oberti, the lead project designer, notes that, “the design team has participated in an unprecedented review process and an extensive local review that began with the East Kootenay land use determinations in the early 1990s and continued through the Environmental Assessment Act review and the Master Plan approval processes. We have sought to create a project that is compatible with the needs of the natural ecology, of the people who live in the area, and of the expectations of the destination skiing and sightseeing market.”