Government delays Jumbo decision-you still have time to act

As we wrote in September, the government is still accepting public comments on the Jumbo Glacier resort proposed for a pristine valley in the Kootenays. That means you still have a chance to voice your opinion.

The comments should be taken into account when three ministers decide whether to grant the project an environmental assessment certificate. The certificate means the proponent has a green light to apply for the licences and leases required for the project, provided the development satisfies any conditions attached to the certificate.

Originally, the deadline was due September 17, 2004. Without giving reasons, the government delayed the decision 31 days, until October 18, 2004. (See Jumbo Creek Conservation Society’s news release on the delay.)

To comment on the proposal, you can call the Premier’s office at 250.387.1715 (or e-mail him), and lodge your objections. (See below for some of the concerns you might wish to raise. To reach the Premier toll free, call Enquiry BC at 800.663.7867, or, for those in Greater Vancouver, 604.660.2421, and ask to be connected to 387.1715 in Victoria.)

We also encourage you to send an online fax via http://www.wildcanada.net/jumbowild/faxengine.asp

You can also call the individual ministers who will jointly make the environmental assessment decision by October 18. They are:

Minister George Abbott, Sustainable Resource Management, 250.356.9076

Minister Bill Barisoff, Water Land & Air Protection, 250.387.1187

John Les, Small Business & Economic Development, 250.356.7411

(Minister Abbott is responsible for the Environmental Assessment Office, as well as the government company that grants the licenses and leases for ski resorts, Land and Water British Columbia Inc.)

You might also want to advise the proponent of the resort of your concerns. You can reach Oberto Oberti at Pheidias, his project management company, as follows:
1660-1188 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC, V6E 4A2
Tel 604.662.8833
Fax 604.662.7958
E-mail info@pheidias.ca

Some comments you might wish to make, based on concerns raised in by Kootenay communities:

Regarding the environment:
“The Jumbo Valley is an internationally significant wildlife corridor and is important grizzly bear habitat. It is irresponsible to allow for a mega-resort development in this region.”

Regarding the economy:
“I recognize that destination resort tourism is a cornerstone of B.C.’s growing economy. Instead of destroying the very wilderness that draws tourists to British Columbia, invest provincial dollars in existing resort towns such as Fernie, Golden, Invermere, and Kimberley.”

If you are a voter in B.C.:
“Your government’s decision on Jumbo will inform my decision at election time in the spring. I expect the Premier to hear the voice of British Columbians and reject this proposal. At 90% opposition, the democratic process demands it.”

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