Former NHLer Niedermayer backs anti-Jumbo resort group

Retired hockey star Scott Niedermayer joins a local aboriginal group to press for rejection of Jumbo Glacier Resort.

Retired hockey star Scott Niedermayer joins Ktunaxa Nation chair Kathryn Teneese and NDP leader Adrian Dix at a news conference to urge rejection of the Jumbo Glacier Resort.

VICTORIA – Opponents of the long-proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort near Cranbrook went on the offensive in the B.C. legislature Tuesday, with retired hockey star Scott Niedermayer joining a local aboriginal group to press for its rejection.

Niedermayer joined Kathryn Teneese, chair of the Ktunaxa Nation council and NDP leader Adrian Dix to urge the B.C. government to reject the proposed resort, on Jumbo glacier in the Purcell Mountains.

The project has been studied for more than 20 years, and received a provincial environmental certificate in 2005. The last step is approval of a master development agreement, which Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson could make at any time.

Teneese showed a video with testimonials of aboriginal and other local residents, and released a study by Simon Fraser University economist Marvin Shaffer that questions the economic viability of adding another ski resort to the region.

The Ktunaxa call the region Qat’muk, and say it is a sacred place for them.

“It’s where the grizzly bear spirit was born, goes to heal itself, and returns to the spirit world,” Teneese told a news conference hosted by the NDP at the legislature Tuesday.

Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald and Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall oppose the resort, and say their communities support their position.

Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett, the only B.C. Liberal in the region, has been an outspoken advocate for Jumbo resort. Bennett notes that the Shuswap First Nation, which claims to be the closest aboriginal community to the Jumbo glacier, supports the resort proposal and asserts its own detailed territorial claim.

Bennett also notes there is an existing helicopter-skiing operation on the Jumbo glacier, a road to the region built 50 years ago, and the year-round resort is proposed for an abandoned sawmill site.

In a December 2010 letter to the B.C. government, Shuswap chief Paul Sam described the Jumbo Basin as a dead end with no traditional food gathering or travel function.

“Throughout the long review of the Jumbo basin, all First Nations agreed that it carried little significance to our respective to our respective traditional uses,” Sam wrote.

Niedermayer said that while he lives in California, he returns to the Cranbrook area with his family in the summer. Other local ski resorts in the area have undeveloped lots, so he questions the need for another one to be approved.

“There are some logging roads and things like that, but the bears are allowed to move the way they need to to have a healthy population,” Niedermayer said.

Just Posted

Auditors couldn’t tell if Fraser Health executives bought booze on taxpayers’ dime

Review from 2014 says one administrator bought Bose headphones on company credit card

Experts detect risk of rock avalanche above Bridal Falls near Chilliwack

Risk in the one-in-10,000-year is minimal but triggers FVRD to direct growth elsewhere

VIDEO: Olympic medalist teaches swimming in Hope

Brent Hayden fondly remembers local swim meet from his youth

Metro gas prices hit 155.7 cents a litre and higher

Lower Mainland could see 1.60 cents by April

Free parking not in the cards for Fraser Valley hospitals

Chair says board may look at ways to make parking easier, but not free

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Lower Mainland rabbits confirmed killed by highly-infectious virus

Feral colony on Annacis Island in Delta died from hemorrhagic disease. Pet rabbits could be at risk

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Okanagan Falls winery showing international photo project

Liquidity Wines will be sole Canadian show of National Geographic’s Photo Ark

Lawyer for one suspect in beating of man with autism says he’s not guilty

Ronjot Singh Dhami will turn himself in, lawyer said

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes in privacy scandal

Zuckerberg admits to privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm, but no apology

Online threat to U.S. high school traced to Canadian teen

A 14-year-old girl has been charged in connection with an online threat against a high school

Vaping device overheats, burns down home on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo Fire Rescue says units could cause fires in other homes and even aircraft

Most Read