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.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

OBITUARY: Sherrold Haddad brought giant Canadian flag to Surrey car dealership, built community

‘An amazing man, business person and community leader,’ friend Bruce Hayne posted to Facebook

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

MARCH 28: Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance

White Rock council members stand by decision to close pier

Minimal push-back over closure to minimize chance of spreading COVID-19 virus

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Most Read