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

PHOTO GALLERY: Malicious Monster Truck Tour

The Malicious Monster Truck Tour sold out to crowds of 2,500 people… Continue reading

North Coast fishing grounds key to orca recovery: DFO

Plan marks waters from Langara to Rose Spit as critical habitat for northern resident killer whales

Chris Green, mother of scouts, passes away

Green, who was born near Kitimat, spent more than 60 years volunteering with Scouts Canada

Intertidal Music Festival back for round two

More than 20 performances throughout the day at the North Pacific Cannery on July 21

Alberta man missing on Kitimat River found dead

Body found on July 11 after going missing on July 7

Here’s what you need to know about Day 1 at the BC Games

All 18 events kick off on the track, riding ring, fields, courts and lake in the Cowichan Valley

Seal attacks kayakers in the Broughton Archipelago

“It has to be one chance in a million of this happening.”

Victoria-area park sign removed after glitch redirects to porn site

Resident looking to learn more about workout equipment discovered the problem code

Special Olympic athletes take on BC Games during special anniversary

Known as the Global Day of Inclusion, July 20 marks the first Special Olympics in 1968 in Chicago

Scammers dressed as Mounties threaten to arrest senior if she doesn’t cough up cash

Pair of fraudulent officers threaten to arrest 90-year-old woman

Fundraiser to help mom of jogger detained after crossing U.S. border

Cedella Roman, 19, was held in U.S. after accidentally crossing border in South Surrey

Okanagan Wildfires: The latest on wildfires and evacuations

A Friday morning look at the major wildfires impact the Okanagan and Similkameen.

UPDATED: 1,500 residents on evacuation alert as Peachland under state of emergency

The Mount Eneas wildfire has forced an evacuation alert of 596 properties

UPDATED: Remains of all eight Bruce McArthur victims now identified, Toronto police say

McArthur worked as a landscaper and allegedly concealed the remains of several men in planters

Most Read