INVERMERE, B.C. – Jumbo Glacier Resort, the proposed ski area in eastern British Columbia, won a key decision in early November from the Canada Supreme Court.
A majority of the nine justices agreed that the Ktunaxa Nation had no veto power over the project. The Ktunaxa Nation had argued that the resort would interfere with the ability of members to worship the Grizzly Bear Spirit.
The judgment said that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom protects the freedom to worship, but does not protect the spiritual focal point of worship.
The Shuswap people already support Glacier Resort, the developer of the proposed resort, and the company said it will seek to develop benefit agreements with the Ktunaxa Nation, if the Ktunaxa wish.
A provincial environmental certification will still be needed for the resort if it wants to go forward with 6,500 beds of lodging. In that process, the Ktunaxa would likely register their opposition, reported Whistler’s Pique Newsmagazine.
Tommaso Oberti, vice president of Oberti Resort Designs, a consultant to Glacier Resorts, indicated the resort could be viable with 2,000 beds in lodging, because of the lodging available in nearby Invermere. If so, that would not require an environmental certification.