Construction of $1 billion B.C. ski lodge in avalanche zone, say NDP

By on November 6, 2014


Skiing in Whistler (ShutterStock)
Skiing in Whistler (ShutterStock)

INVERMERE, B.C. — The B.C. New Democrats and governing Liberals can’t agree on whether the day lodge for the New Jumbo Glacier Resort is being built in the path of a dangerous avalanche zone.

Opposition Leader John Horgan asked Environment Minister Mary Polak to withdraw Jumbo’s permit in the legislature on Tuesday, saying the lodge is in a class-four zone, the second most dangerous classification for avalanches.

But Forests, Lands and Natural Resources spokeswoman Vivian Thomas says the lodge is actually 56 metres away from the “avalanche run-out” area and its location was considered during the assessment process.

The proposed $1-billion year-round ski resort west of Invermere, B.C., had been rushing to meet a provincial construction deadline before its government-issued environmental assessment certificate expired on Oct. 12.

The NDP later released a statement saying the Liberals are making a mockery of the environmental assessment process and rewarding bad behaviour.

Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall says the day lodge isn’t the only violation of Jumbo’s certificate, and that a preliminary look at the certificate requirements show the company is in violation of three other conditions.