FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION
CITY OF CHILLIWACK AND DISTRICT OF KENT ENDORSE CASCADE GONDOLA PROJECT
Chilliwack, B.C. June 1st, 2022– The Mayor of Chilliwack continues to support the Cascade Skyline Gondola Project (“CSGP”), this time taking his message to the top.
In a recent letter to Premier John Horgan, Mayor Ken Popove describes the Pelólxw (Pilalt) First Nations-led project as offering “both jobs and financial stimulus for Chilliwack and the surrounding area.”
CSGP has already been supported and endorsed by Indigenous Tourism BC, the Tourism Industry Association of B.C, Tourism Chilliwack, Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation (CEPCO), Chilliwack Outdoor Club, Chilliwack River Valley Residents Assoc., and many other key stakeholders and community groups.
Mayor Popove previously expressed support for the sightseeing gondola project to Hon. Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forest, Lands & Natural Resource Operations in March, 2021. This time, he wrote to BC’s top elected official to say: “I am writing to you to express my support for the Cascade Skyline Gondola Project...and want to underscore my support for this particular project, due to is respectful and long-standing relationship with the Cheam First Nations.”
The Mayor went on to say: “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”.
Notably, Mayor Popove also stated his opposition to the very different Bridal Veil Mountain Resort ski area project: “We are aware that another application has been submitted….for the Bridal Veil Mtn Resort. The City of Chilliwack does not support this application, and instead, we urge you to approve the Cascade Skyline Gondola Project.”
Similarly, District of Kent Mayor Pranger and Council reiterated their support for the Cascade Skyline Gondola Project: “We again express our support for the Cascade Skyline Gondola Project based on its ecological and cultural benefits.” But when it comes to the Bridal Veil Mountain Resort proposal, Council has previously said, “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.”
This comes at a time when other key stakeholders have spoken out in support of the Cascade Skyline Gondola and against the ski resort project with Sqwa Nation Chief Lara Mussel stating, “Sqwa First Nation 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.”
Expressions of support and ownership interest continue to grow for Cascade Skyline, including from Kwa Kwa Apilt and other stakeholders FNs as members of the Pelólxw Communities.
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More about The Cascade Skyline Gondola: The Cascade Skyline Gondola is an $80M Eco and Cultural tourism project consisting of a sightseeing gondola that will provide easy access in 15 minutes from the Trans Canada Hwy 1 to an elevation of over 1200m (~ 4000 feet) above the Fraser Valley, with spectacular views over the Coast Mountains, the Cascade Mountains, the Fraser River, Harrison Lake, Vancouver and beyond. It consists non-motorized activities including walking, hiking, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing, paragliding, mountain biking, and other activities like viewing platforms, Summit Lodge, Sto;lo Cultural Centre and other amenities. It is built on sustainable practices, traditional First Nation values and community interests.
More about Cheam First Nation: The Xwchíyò:m Cheam First Nation (CFN) has been the founding First Nation of the Cascade Skyline Gondola Project given that the project’s infrastructure is located within their territory. As part of the Pelólxw people, Xwchíyò:m Cheam First Nation is a major community within the broader S’ólh Nation. The Xwchíyò:m have lived in S’ólh Téméxw for thousands of years. They have never ceded or surrendered title to their lands, rights to their resources, or authority to make decisions within their territory.