Alberta is shutting down tons of provincial parks because of budget cuts
Alberta is officially making closures to 20 parks across the province due to budget cuts.
The province will close 11 parks entirely, while nine will be open for Canadians to visit, but stripped of funded services like garbage collection. Another 164 parks are to be handed over to third parties.
The total amount of land affected is about 16,000 hectares.
Major parks impacted include Bow Valley Provincial Park, Dinosaur Provincial Park, and Gooseberry Provincial Recreation Park.
27000 Acres up for grabs no public consultation(probably some back door deals), open for tender. With hopes that the locals get it first. Majority in the foothills which to me seems unlikely to be that under utilized. #abpoli #ableg #ABParks— Amber🌺 (@amber4913) March 3, 2020
Camping will also become more expensive, with prices rising by an extra $3 for the base camping rate and by $10 for some group camping sites in summer 2020.
Naturally, many Canadians are upset about the government's decision.
The @Alberta_UCP is closing a bunch of provincial parks. Like, just closing them. No more public access. Done.— hangry_white_male (@HangryMale) March 3, 2020
A bunch more are being farmed out to private managers.
Oh, and did you enjoy nordic skiing in Canmore/Kananaskis? Too bad. That's done too. https://t.co/XpSKC23hF3
Some people are encouraging their fellow Albertans to write a letter to their local MLA.
Outraged but not stunned at the Alberta government’s plan for our pristine provincial parks. Closures, land sales and reduced operations. If you care about Alberta parks please write a letter to your MLA. Don’t just sit idly by and hope someone else does. #AbLeg @RachelNotley— Laura Farley (@Farley136) March 3, 2020
While others are considering just throwing in the towel altogether.
Are they trying to get people to leave this province, because for many of us, the main reason we stay is the opportunities for outdoor recreation, like camping, hiking & skiing.— Nicole McCreary (Lexi) (@lexisjlizard) March 3, 2020
If we can't even do that, why stay?
Minister of Environment and Parks Jason Nixon called for calm, reminding Canadians that only 0.3% of Alberta's total park area will be affected by the changes.
1/2 Gov’t is not “privatizing” anything. We’re modernizing AB’s parks system in accordance with our platform commitment by offering Albertans, First Nations & non-profits the opportunity to partner on operating 0.3% of the province’s current parks area. #AbLeg #environment pic.twitter.com/OeJatsMZpV— Jason Nixon (@JasonNixonAB) March 3, 2020
Although Nixon couldn't resist a dig at environmental groups, who he blames for inflaming the "hysteria."
The United Conservative government says closing the parks will save Alberta $5 million.
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