Andrew Weaver's 'Bye Bye Jumbo Resort' Bill?
BC’s lone Green Party MLA, Andrew Weaver, has been busy lately. He has proposed Bill M214 — Local Government Amendment Act, 2016, which would amend the Local Government Act by repealing parts of Section 8. Those parts were passed by the BC Legislature in 2012, apparently for the sole purpose of creating more favourable conditions for a massive resort development in the Jumbo Pass area.
Those parts of Section 8 of the Local Government Act that Weaver proposes to delete enabled the government to declare Jumbo a “mountain resort municipality” despite having no residents or any of the other usual attributes of a municipality — except a physical area. Its creation, and the stipends of its government-appointed mayor and two councillors, are paid for by taxpayers in the rest of the province.
Introducing his proposed Bill, Weaver said, “In British Columbia, we have a municipality that has no houses, no infrastructure and no people. The Jumbo Glacier Resort is designated as a mountain resort municipality, and despite having neither any people nor any buildings, it is governed by a mayor and two councillors and funded by the province.
“For the existence of a municipality to make any sense, it needs people. The Local Government Amendment Act would ensure that this be the case across British Columbia. This bill would close a glaring loophole created in 2012 by this government solely to support a project that has not substantially started. It’s opposed by the Ktunaxa Nation — and its environmental assessment certificate has expired.”
Weaver’s suggested amendment would mean that the government could not create any more resident-free mountain resort municipalities.
“Given opposition to the resort by the Ktunaxa Nation, the fact that the environmental assessment certificate has expired, and that the project has not substantially started, it seemed timely to close the loophole for good as it sets a dangerous precedent,” Weaver stated in a press release.
Does this proposed Act really spell “Bye bye Jumbo Resort Municipality”? We’ll have to wait to see whether or not the BC Legislature passes Weaver’s bill.