The District of Invermere is hitting out at the provincial government’s Mountain Resort Municipality (MRM) strategy, and hoping other B.C. communities will agree.
At its most recent meeting on February 14, DOI council agreed to forward a resolution to the Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments calling on the province to create “reasonable criteria” for establishing new MRMs.
Mayor Gerry Taft told council he’s concerned new MRMs — which would have their initial councils appointed by the province — might never grow large enough to hold democratic elections, and could remain controlled by the province and developers forever.
“They just get created as an instant town with no people,” said Taft. While he admitted the issue “has relations” to the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort, which would operate as a MRM if approved by the province, Taft also says the issue has “implications across the province.”
“What that could possibly mean is there could be local governments functioning in B.C. at the same level as a democratically elected council like we have here that have never been elected…” added councillor Spring Hawes. “That just seems very unacceptable to me.”
Should the resolution find support at the Kootenay Boundary conference, it will be forwarded to the Union of B.C. Municipalities’ next convention and debated again.