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Garibaldi at Squamish resort now in Liberal’s court



Decision on whether proponents can proceed will be made by the end of June

A decision on the four-season resort proposed for Brohm Ridge has now landed in the lap of a Liberal government but the goal posts are not expected to move, says Charles Littledale of the B.C. Assets and Lands Corporation.

"There are basic requirements that have to be met that I have stated I need all along to make a decision," said Littledale. "Those haven’t changed."

The group behind the project, Garibaldi Alpen, won exclusive rights to proceed with planning a resort on the slopes of Brohm Ridge in 1997. Under the subsequent interim agreement with the province, principal Wolfgang Richter had four years to make a submission that details how the project will be financed and how and when the Environmental Assessment and Commercial Alpine Ski Policy requirements will be met.

That interim agreement expired in Feb. 28 this year but BCAL granted Richter a 60-day extension to April 30.

Richter submitted a proposal on April 30 that asks for a further extension of the interim agreement but BCAL opted to suspend Garibaldi Alpen’s exclusive rights in the area until the end of June.

Littledale said BCAL needed the time to get legal opinion on Richter’s submission which includes a plan to deal with an extensive list of creditors and a $1.2 million law suit for monies owed First Capital Investment. "We need to see if we are comfortable with the viability of the plan and also the viability off the whole project, noted Littledale.

"Another one of the reasons we wanted to take some time to review the material was also to involve the new government," he said.

BCAL now has a new president and Chief Executive Officer, Bill Valentine, who has replaced Cathy Doyle. Under the new Liberal government, the Crown corporation also has a new shareholder. Previously BCAL’s sole shareholder was the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (which recently replaced the Ministry of Finance).

The shareholder is now the new Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management headed up by Stan Hagen.

There are also other changes in the works. BCAL gets its legal authority to make land use decisions under the Lands Act which was the responsibility of the Ministry of Environment Lands and Parks which no longer exists. Which ministry will ultimately oversee the Lands Act remains to be seen, said Littledale.

"These are the only changes we are facing so far." Despite these, Littledale said the BCAL mandate remains the same — to manage Crown land on behalf of the people of B.C.

"And we have given ourselves until the end of the month to make this decision on Garibaldi Alpen’s application for an extension. We will be discussing it with our executive."

Should the proposal be turned down, the province will be in a position to entertain other applications and uses for the Brohm Ridge area.

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