Glacier Resorts Ltd says it is considering three options in response to environment minister Mary Polak’s decision last week that its ski resort and real estate development can not go ahead because it was not substantially started by the date its environmental certificate expired.
One of those options is to take the matter to court.
“One of our options will be judicial review,” said the company’s Tom Oberti in an interview with the Star on Monday. He said the minister’s decision shows a “lack of natural justice and a lack of due process.”
A second option would be to downsize the project so that it fits in a category of ski resort that, according to provincial regulations, does not require an environmental assessment, although there is a less rigourous approval process. That would mean scaling the development back from 5500 bed units to under 2000.
Another option, said Oberti, would be to go back to square one and apply for a new environmental assessment certificate, although he said this option is “unlikely” because of the time and expense involved.
Oberti said the lateness of the construction at Jumbo was unavoidable because the province “took its time” in various permitting and agreement processes, including its consultations with First Nations.
He also faulted the environment minister for “changing the goalposts” by using the company’s plan for Phase 1 of the project as the benchmark for her decision on whether the project was substantially started.
Last week the appointed mayor of Jumbo, Greg Deck, told the Star that he can’t predict the fate of the Jumbo municipality following Polak’s decision, but that he is optimistic that a ski resort will happen eventually, one way or another, with this developer or a different one.
Polak’s written reasons for her decision are attached below.