Monday, July 28, 2014
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Proposed B.C. ski resort doesn't violate grizzly bear spirit rights: judge

Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - A First Nations group that claimed development of a massive B.C. ski resort interferes with its religious practices involving the spirit of the grizzly bear has had its claim dismissed in court.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled on Thursday that the provincial government's approval of the resort does not violate the constitutional rights of the Ktunaxa (te-nah-kha) Nation.

The group took action after Glacier Resorts was given the green light from the B.C. government in March 2012 for construction in Upper Jumbo Valley, 55 km west of Invermere.

The group had asked the court to declare the proposed resort would desecrate its sacred land and practices, prompting the government's approval of the project to be overturned.

In a 124-page ruling, Justice John Savage says the ministry did its duty to consult the First Nation and that the approval includes various conditions that accommodate the group's religious rights.

The company set out to build the year-round ski resort on Crown land in southeastern B.C.'s Purcell Mountains in 1991, but it was challenged repeatedly in court.  

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