The B.C. municipality, complete with a mayor, councillors and zero residents, is shutting down.
Jumbo Glacier has had a mayor and council for nearly 10 years, but has always had a population of zero.
The eastern B.C. area was meant to become a village with a 6,300-bed ski resort. So back in 2012, the new spot was appointed a mayor and council. But nothing more ever came of it.
“It was easy to make fun of,” said Jumbo Glacier Mayor Greg Deck to CBC. Deck was chosen for his experience, given that he was the first mayor for a nearby town, Radium Hot Springs.
However, appointing a council and mayor prior to building a municipality is common practice, said Deck.
“You try to have an entity in place to make sure services are in place and interests of the incoming residents will be taken care of,” he explained.
Opposition for the B.C. Municipality
But the ski resort faced local opposition and a court case. In 2019, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled the resort can’t be built without an environmental reassessment.
Now, Jumbo Glacier is turning into a conservation zone by the Ktunaxa Nation. So the provincial government is beginning the formal process of resolving the town.
The last B.C. municipality to be dissolved was almost 100 years ago for a place called Phoenix, after a downturn in copper prices.
Deck is helping in the process of resolving Jumbo Glacier, but is unsure of how it will all happen.
“I presume it’s mostly administrative activity, just closing up accounts, passing claims back to the province, advising insurance companies and things that we no longer require coverage. Really boring nuts and bolts stuff,” he said to CBC.
That also means resolving the income Jumbo Glacier has received. That adds up to one million dollars – for the staff’s wages and other things needed to get the resort started.
While many are happy to see the potential resort vanish from the drawing board, Deck said he feels otherwise.
“I think we’re looking at the demise of the best ski hill we will never have in this country,” he said.
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