VICTORIA - After one of the most extensive review and consultation processes in British Columbia's history, the Province has approved the Jumbo Glacier Resort Master Development Agreement, which allows the resort to proceed.
Glacier Resorts Ltd. received an Environmental Assessment Certificate for Jumbo Glacier Resort in 2004, which included 195 commitments to mitigate environmental impacts. The resort master plan was approved in 2007. The Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations will pursue the establishment of a large wildlife management area to protect Grizzly bear habitat.
The resort could be North America's only year-round, glacier-based ski resort. The resort will be in the Purcell Mountains, 57 km west of Invermere, on the site of an old sawmill. The completed ski resort will feature up to 23 lifts, a 3,000 metre-high gondola and spectacular world-class views.
Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations -
"After more than 20 years of comprehensive and exhaustive reviews, it was time to make a decision. I approved Jumbo Glacier Resort's Master Development Agreement after reviewing all of the relevant documentation, and meeting with both First Nations and the proponent."
Bill Bennett, MLA for Kootenay East -
"This project has, for over 20 years, divided Kootenay communities. I am grateful for a final decision. I thank the Minister for making it and Premier Christy Clark for creating an environment where tough decisions can be made. No matter which side of the debate you're on, the majority of folks in the East Kootenay will be relieved by the certainty."
Rose-Marie Regitnig, president, Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce -
"The Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce is pleased that a decision around Jumbo Glacier Resort has finally been made. We believe that over 20 years of indecision by three different governments was negatively impacting our communities. While we recognize that not all individuals will be pleased with the decision we do look forward to working with our members on the opportunities that this decision will present. It is our objective to help our members grow and develop their businesses in both an economically and environmentally sustainable manner."
* The minister approved the Master Development Agreement under the Land Act and Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing Act.
* The Master Development Agreement is an agreement between the project proponent and the Province for development of provincial Crown land under the All Seasons Resort Policy.
* The Master Development Agreement contains all of the terms and conditions under which the resort can be developed, as well as outlining events of default, insurance requirements, fees to be paid and terms of renewal.
* The proponent has requested that Jumbo Glacier Resort be designated a resort municipality. The Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development will review this application now that the Master Development Agreement has been approved.
* The up-to-$900 million in private capital investment could create an estimated 750 permanent, direct jobs upon completion and provide 3,750 person years of construction employment.
* The Shuswap Indian Band has a benefits agreement with Glacier Resorts Ltd.
View the Jumbo Glacier Resort Master Plan: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/resort_development/resort_plans/approved/Jumbo.htm
Jumbo Glacier Resort: http://www.jumboglacierresort.com/
A backgrounder follows.
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
March 20, 2012 Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Jumbo Glacier Resort approved
Jumbo Glacier Resort has been the subject of one of the most extensive and thorough provincial reviews in the history of British Columbia:
- March 1991 - Formal Proposal submitted to the Province.
- March 1993 - Interim Agreement, granting sole proponent status, is signed by the Province and the proponent, following advertising to determine if there was any competing interest.
- 1992 - Nov. 1994 - Review under Commission on Resource and Environment (CORE) land use process. This resulted in a designation for the Jumbo area which supported commercial tourism and resort development use, subject to such development being capable of mitigating potential environmental impacts.
- July 1995 - October 2004 - Environmental Assessment Act review - Environmental Assessment Certificate granted, with 195 conditions.
- October 2005 - Judicial review of the Environmental Assessment Office process. The court upholds the Environmental Assessment Certificate.
- 2006 - Provincial review of the draft Resort Master Plan under the All Seasons Resort Policy.
- 2006 - Consultation continued under the All Seasons Resort Policy, with commitment to Ktunaxa Nation that a Master Development Agreement would not be concluded with the proponent until consultation was completed.
- July 2007 - Resort Master Plan approved by the Province.
- 2008 - The proponent and the Shuswap Indian Band developed an Impact Management and Benefits Agreement, subject to project approval.
- 2009 - Environmental Assessment Certificate received a one-time, five-year extension.
- June 2009 -The Province advised the Ktunaxa that the consultation process, as per the agreement between Ktunaxa and the Province, was complete. Ktunaxa advised the ministry of its spiritual interest in the Jumbo area. The Province agreed to consider the new information. Consultation continued.
- October 2010 - The Ktunaxa signed a Strategic Engagement Agreement with the Province, and received a Treaty Land and Cash Offer.
- November 15, 2010 - Ktunaxa presented their Qat'muk Declaration to the Province at the Parliament Buildings in Victoria.
- Summer 2011 - Thomson visited the proposed site and met with the Shuswap, the Ktunaxa and the proponent.
- March 2012 -Thomson approves the Master Development Agreement for Jumbo Glacier Resort under the Land Act and the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing Act.
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations