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Fraser Valley leaders back gondola proposal, oppose ski resort idea near Chilliwack

‘We urge you to approve the Cascade Skyline Gondola Project,’ Chilliwack mayor wrote to B.C. reps
Looking west from Bridal Falls over Chilliwack. (Sam Waddington file photo)

Leaders of the Eastern Fraser Valley have drawn a line in the sand in order to back an Indigenous-led gondola proposal over the one advocating a massive ski resort in the mountains above Chilliwack.

Supporting the Cascade Skyline Gondola Project as opposed to the Bridal Veil Mountain Resort are Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove, Sqwa Chief Lara Mussell, and Kent Mayor Sylvia Pranger, according to a release from Cascade project proponents.

Mayor Popove stated in a letter to Premier John Horgan that the Pelólxw (Pilalt) Tribe-led Cascade project has “both jobs and financial stimulus for Chilliwack and the surrounding area.”

Popove also fired off a Cascade support letter to Forests Minister Katrine Conroy “due to its respectful and long-standing relationship with Cheam First Nation.

“As we all work towards a strong, sustainable economy that works for everyone, it is imperative that all levels of government support projects with the same vision.”

RELATED: Cascade gondola project proposed for ridge above Bridal Falls

But the Bridal Veil Mountain Resort project is not being received with open arms to the same degree.

“The City of Chilliwack does not support this application, and instead, we urge you to approve the Cascade Skyline Gondola Project,” Popove wrote.

Cascade has earned endorsements from Indigenous Tourism BC, the Tourism Industry Association of B.C, Tourism Chilliwack, Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation, Chilliwack Outdoor Club, Chilliwack River Valley Residents Assoc., and other stakeholders and community groups.

Similarly, District of Kent Mayor Sylvia Pranger and council reiterated their support for the Cascade Skyline Gondola Project in a letter: “We again express our support for the Cascade Skyline Gondola Project based on its ecological and cultural benefits.”

RELATED: Ski resort proponents forge ahead

The Bridal Veil ski resort proposal however is worrisome to Kent officials:

”We are concerned about the negative impacts that will affect our community and adjoining communities….these impacts would also have a detrimental effect on wildlife impacts and our ecological environment.”

Sqwa Chief Lara Mussel has stated that Sqwa supports the Cascade Skyline Gondola Project.

“We are united in opposing BVMR (Bridal Veil Mountain Resort)…a massive ski resort with multiple villages and supporting amenities disrupting the natural habitat for wildlife in the area.”

Other expressions of interest and support for Cascade Skyline have been received from communities like Kwa Kwa Apilt and other Pelólxw Communities.

RELATED: Bridal Veil Mountain Resort could cover 11,500 acres

RELATED: Cascade project researches Indigenous components

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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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