Substantial Start? We think not.

When the Jumbo Glacier Resort was given its Environmental Certificate (EC) in 2004, it had 5 years to start construction. After a one-time extension in 2009, the EC was set to expire on October 12, 2014. Glacier Resorts needed to “substantially start” the project by this date, complying with the nearly 200 conditions attached to the EC.

Since October, we have been working hard to ensure that the government understands how little has been done so far. Wildsight and the Jumbo Creek Conservation Society are working with Ecojustice and during the past 8 months have made numerous submissions to the Minister regarding the question of substantial start.

We contend not only that the project was not substantially started, but that the work that was done — the pouring of 2 concrete slabs during the last week of the Environmental Certificate’s term — was both unsubstantial and carried out in violation of key conditions of their Environmental Certificate, and was therefore unlawful. You can read our submissions here:

November 10, 2014

November 21, 2014

April 23, 2015

May 28, 2015

Though we’ve been waiting for 8 long months, there’s been lots of positive headway.

In April, a report from Dynamic Avalanche Consulting found the hastily poured concrete slabs to be located in hazardous avalanche terrain.

Immediately after, the Environmental Assessment Office announced that the concrete slab location violated the Environmental Certificate, which states that “residential and commercial structures will be located completely outside the avalanche hazard area”.  Glacier Resorts was told they could not continue construction.

You can read the letters outlining the non-compliance here.

We expect a decision from Minister Polak this June, so stay tuned. One way or the other, this is going to be a Jumbo summer.