After 24 years of controversy, a vital deadline is looming for Glacier Resorts Ltd., which by next month has to prove to B.C.'s Environmental Assessment Office that significant progress has been made on the billion-dollar plan to build a 6,300-bed resort on Crown land in the glacial wilderness, 55 kilometres west of Invermere.
"One of the mysteries is why he has got his nose in it at all," said B.C. MLA Norm Macdonald, adding that people worry about publicly criticizing powerful minister Bill Bennett. "This is complete insider stuff. It's a remote corner of the province and they're getting away with stuff no one would get away with anywhere else... Everything about it feels like cronyism at its worst."
Before Bill 4, any research done in a park had to be "necessary for the preservation or maintenance of the recreational values of the park involved." But as we've recently learned, pipeline giant Kinder Morgan has, with a permit from the B.C. government, been conducting research in B.C. parks for their pipeline expansion project since November 2013, four months before Bill 4 was introduced.
B.C.'s election has featured a string of high-profile firings and disqualifications, and they've all left the attackers looking like irrelevant old-timers, relics of an era when it might have been possible to complain about forum posts and retain some shred of dignity. The Internet has given us the mudslinging equivalent of a nuclear standoff and mutually assured destruction has brought a continued ceasefire, perhaps then we can dispense with the winging and get on with the business of government.