Invermere mayor challenged on Jumbo stance

An Invermere resident questioned Invermere mayor Gerry Taft's stance on the municipality at the most recent Invermere council meeting.

  • Oct. 23, 2014 2:00 p.m.

Steve Hubrecht /Invermere Valley Echo

The topics of Jumbo Glacier Resort and Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality continue to generate discussion in the valley after an Invermere resident questioned Invermere mayor Gerry Taft’s stance on the municipality at the most recent Invermere council meeting.

Brandishing a copy of the October 1st Valley Echo and referencing its front page story about Mr. Taft’s motion at the recent Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) meeting criticizing municipalities without residents at the October 14th Invermere council meeting, audience member Mike Gagne pointedly asked Mr. Taft why he introduced such a motion.

“How does it benefit Invermere to take these (anti-Jumbo municipality) positions?” said Mr. Gagne.

Mr. Taft responded that the motion grew out of his frustration at what he sees as the discrepancy between the province saying it doesn’t have enough money to help fund municipal projects such as Invermere’s new multi-use centre and the province then giving $200,000 a year in grant money to Jumbo municipality, as well as his belief that the process of creating Jumbo municipality was wrong.

“When you fundamentally disagree with something, you should stand up for it,” said Mr. Taft.

“Whether or not you agree with having a ski resort up there, there’s no question in my mind that setting that up should follow the same process that other ski resorts in the East Kootenay have been through, with rezoning decisions made by elected officials at the regional district.”

Mr. Taft said that in making the motion at the UBCM meeting, he was simply doing what the majority of his constituents would support him doing on the Jumbo issue.

“I do believe I’m representing the majority of the people in the district on this. People come up to me all the time and say ‘thank you’,” he said, clarifying that his chief concern is Jumbo municipality and the processes behind its creation, rather than the planned Jumbo resort.

“My issue is around the municipality,” said Mr. Taft. “I’ve done everything I can do to raise awareness about how more than $1 million of public money is being spent to set up a municipality in order to circumvent the normal regional district zoning process that other ski areas in the East Kootenay go through.

“Invermere has more to gain from this project than any other town. These positions you take are not in the best interest of Invermere,” responded Mr. Gagne, adding that Mr. Taft’s moves could quite possibly end up hurting businesses here and that future efforts to, for instance, get Jumbo municipality to throw in funding for valley-wide projects will fall on deaf ears.

“I would hope that they (Jumbo governments officials) wouldn’t be so vindictive as to say you’ll never get any money ever, since you pissed us off on this one issue,” responded Mr. Taft, adding he feels speaking up on an issue you disagree with is a good way to get it dealt with.

“The squeaky wheel gets attention,” he said.

Councillor Greg Anderson said the motion presented at the UBCM started during an Invermere council — where not all councillors agreed with it, but a majority did — so it went on the Association of Kootenay and Boundary Local Goverment (AKBLG) meeting, where a majority again agreed with the motion, so it then went on the UBCM.

The motion followed due process, said Mr. Anderson, adding now that the UBCM has voted to take the matter to the province, it is finished as far as Invermere council is concerned.

Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Supporters — and shoppers — lined up waiting at the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South, waiting for the doors to open on the store's first day of operations since the pandemic forced its closure. (Photo courtesy Kate Fox)
CHCA Thrift Store re-opens in Cranbrook

After a closure of 15 months, due to the pandemic, the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South has once again opened its doors for business.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Most Read