After all development rights were ended last year, the Jumbo Glacier municipality has been officially dissolved by the provincial government.
According to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), efforts to build the Jumbo Glacier Resort were stopped in January of 2020 after nearly 30 years of controversy.
The collaborative effort between the Ktunaxa Nation Council, the NCC and the provincial and federal governments saw the purchase of all remaining tenures and interests held by Glacier Resorts Ltd.
The latest move in the B.C. legislature was made on Tuesday, with the official dissolution of Jumbo Glacier as a municipality.
MLA for Creston-Nelson Brittny Anderson is glad to see the end of the Mountain Resort Municipality of Jumbo Glacier.
“People across the Kootenays and the Ktunaxa Nation fought the development of Jumbo from the start, and today’s announcement is a win shared by everyone who worked so hard to keep Jumbo wild,” said Anderson.
The resort municipality was established in 2013 with no residents. This was a move that was not done before or since.
“The then B.C Liberal government made their own amendment to legislation so that they could incorporate a municipality without residents. There was nobody there to vote in a mayor and council, so they needed to appoint one,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “Because it then existed without residents, it was able to receive government grants. I think this is something people were very troubled by this.”
The B.C. NDP introduced legislation to enable the dissolution of a municipality without residents, followed by the move to dissolve Jumbo Glacier Resort.
“We should not be incorporating municipalities where there are no people. People need to have a say in what happens around them. The legislative amendments we’re bringing forward will not only enable us to dissolve the Jumbo municipality, but they’re also going to prevent this kind of thing from ever happening again,” explained Osborne.
The Ktunaxa Nation Council opposed the Jumbo development from the start, as its proposed location was within an area of vital cultural and spiritual significance. The land is known at Qat’muk, the Ktunaxa name meaning “Home of the Grizzly Bear Spirit.”
“The Ktunaxa Nation Council thanks all those who stood beside us during this long, protracted fight, and those partners who stand with us going forward,” said Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Council Chair. “In some ways, the hard work is over, but in other ways, it is just beginning. I am relieved to see that Bill 26 also rescinds the provincial government’s authority to incorporate a mountain resort municipality without residents in the future. This will help to ensure accountability by all governments in the province and the voices of all British Columbians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, are heard.”
According to B.C. government officials, Jumbo is the first local government to be dissolved in the province in roughly 100 years.
More: Qat’muk Declaration (Ktunaxa Nation Council)