Jumbo money must go to real communities

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VICTORIA – John Horgan, Leader of B.C.’s New Democrats, called on Premier Christy Clark today to declare the Jumbo resort project finished and redirect the earmarked “municipal” funds to communities where people actually live.

Environment Minister Mary Polak announced yesterday that the Jumbo resort’s environmental assessment certificate had expired without any substantial work completed over a decade, effectively killing the project in its current form.

“Premier Christy Clark’s government has spent far too much of the taxpayer’s money propping up a private business interest in the face of intense, enduring opposition from local residents and First Nations groups,” said Horgan. “After 25 years of fighting, this is a victory for the people of the Kootenays and should spell the end of this ill-advised project. But it says a lot about the priorities of the Clark government that it was a legal technicality, and not the sustained voices of the region, that prompted her minister to admit defeat.”

Michelle Mungall, MLA for Nelson-Creston, noted that while the proponent may wish to seek another certificate, now is the right time for Premier Clark to stop throwing public money into a failed project that the community has rejected. The taxpayers of British Columbia have already put $400,000 in the bank for Jumbo with a promise of $600,000 more.

“I urge the premier to declare that the money earmarked for the fake municipality of Jumbo, a municipality with no buildings and no people, will be redirected to real communities in British Columbia where there are real people with real and pressing needs,” Mungall said.