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Jumbo in business and other B.C. stories

B.C. gave environmental approval to a European proposal to build a massive ski resort in a pristine part of the Kootenay region.

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B.C. government approval of controversial plans for a new $900-million ski resort in the Kootenays has sparked concern from Whistler. Editor Jennifer Miller of the Whistler Question writes that the Jumbo Glacier Resort, with up to 23 lifts, a 3,000 metre high gondola and 5,500 tourist beds, may create "a Jumbo-size problem" for its competitor. Officials from Whistler/Blackcomb were all but celebratory, saying the new resort would "enhance" the ski industry in B.C, the editorial says. "But we think it's naïve to completely dismiss the possibility that Jumbo could impact Whistler. . . Maybe it's not something to lose sleep over right now, but there's a Jumbo-sized competitor in the rear-view mirror that we think locals should be keeping an eye on," the paper says.

The Castlegar News anticipates the controversy will continue for a long time, despite government approval of the plans. "Even though it has taken a couple of decades to get this far, the controversy will by no means calm down any time soon," the newspaper says. "The question of whether to create a recreational paradise on property many would prefer left as just a natural paradise is a divisive one. People who feel as passionately about an issue as the folks involved in this one do, don't change their minds easily, if ever. . . . a growing number of people in a growing number of situations are not ready to take no for an answer." However the newspaper welcomes the protest. "So long as weapons and true hostilities are kept out of the picture, a protest against certain kinds of development is probably a sign of a healthy society," the newspaper says.


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Why is Health Minister Mike de Jong wedging the government between B.C. teenagers and their desire for orange skin? Kathy Michaels, a columnist in the Kelowna Capital News notes Mr. de Jong recently announced that a prescription from a doctor will be required for minors to use commercial tanning beds: "It begs the question, is there something wrong with parents?" she writes. "Tanning beds have been shown to increase the risk of melanoma–the third-most commonly diagnosed cancer in youths between the ages of 15 and 29–by 75 per cent. So when one-quarter of Canadian parents see their children heading home with a preternatural glow, why don't they say, 'hey, Sally, why are you taking steps to age rapidly?' And: 'Do you really want to suffer the pain of ridding yourself of skin cancer (knock on wood it's possible) for the short term gain of a tan?' Or, finally: 'Howzabout discussing the ways you don't become a drain on health care?'" She suggests Canadians need "a little less legislation and a lot more education."


Terrace Mayor Dave Pernarowski is not too impressed with MoneySense magazine after the city was placed 169 in a list of 190 best places to live, reports the Terrace Standard Mr. Pernarowski invited the writer and management from the publication to come visit Terrace for a first hand look. "They have not taken me up on that offer yet," he told the newspaper, adding that in his view Terrace will always be Number One. "Those stats don't accurately measure what Terrace is all about," he told the newspaper. "We have room to improve and grow in this community, but we've come a long way in recent years and the future is looking very solid for Terrace and the entire region," Mayor Pernarowski said.

The Williams Lake Tribune reported, without comment, that MoneySense ranked the city 189 out of 190, with the city ranking 188 for its statistics from violent crimes.


Meanwhile in federal politics: With Thomas Mulcair finally chosen to lead the federal NDP, the Daily Courier in Kelowna anxiously looks forward to the return of New Democrat MPs to Parliament. While the overly long leadership race continued, a largely rookie team was left behind in Ottawa to take on the Conservatives, says an editorial by city editor Pat Bulmer. The rookies won few, if any, battles against the Tories' hardball-playing, seasoned pros, and they certainly were second best to the more experienced Liberal caucus. "The Conservatives may find it harder now to run roughshod over the opposing parties, as is their preference. The government will likely have to be more accountable with the opposition back to full strength – and that can only be a good thing for the country."

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