How do you feel about cuts to Parks Canada? - Macleans.ca
 

How do you feel about cuts to Parks Canada?


 


 
Filed under:

How do you feel about cuts to Parks Canada?

  1. As a monthly frequenter of National, Provincial, and Regional parks, it is a shame that Parks Canada is getting cuts; however, just like every other federal dept. Cuts are needed to try and balance the books and keep our heads above water. Consider the fact that we are discussing this subject a blessing, compared to oh I don’t know ‘what/if any clean water sources are within 30km of our village’. #firstworldproblems.

    • Why, exactly, are cuts needed in “every federal dept.”? Have the CPC mismanaged things so horribly that there isn’t a single department which isn’t being wasteful? That somehow every single department of gov’t has more money than they need to fulfill their duties? Is there a shortage of workers available so we need to get people out of the public service to work for private employers?

      Why are cuts needed at all? Maclean’s has already shown the bulk of our economy is being driven internally, with most of the remainder coming from exports of energy products, which are paid for in US dollars. So what if we just said we’re not paying our debt? Would China and the US suddenly stop needing our oil? Would our dollar crashing on international financier markets actually hurt much of anybody in Canada? We’re resource rich, remember, not just oil, but pretty much every other resource needed for modern technological society. There’s very little we actually need to import, we just haven’t had the incentives to produce our local supplies yet (other than oil, of course, and since that’s paid in US dollars, our dollar going down just makes our oil more attractive to external investors)

      Yes, it’s a wonderful thing that we don’t have the problems of the third world.. oh hey, we’re cutting what we do for *them* as well.

      Think, man. Question. Don’t just accept the pablum they feed you.

    • it’s not that we need to “cut”, but rather “stop” the waste of $$$

      • Leave the city and go visit a National Park. You will understand why these places are needed.

        • I know that Point Pelee National Park has suffered a drastic reduction in visitors over the years. This is due to the prices charged at the gates for entry. Where it used to be a reasonable amount, which was used locally to fund activities and maintenance within the park itself, today, nobody really knows what the money is used for, or where it goes, despite the prices having literally multiplied over the last 30 years or so. We’re not talking “percentages” here, we’re talking multiples!

          They closed the campgrounds inside, which reduced both traffic and revenue, so they raised the gate price, lowering traffic even more. They keep cutting things which cause a reduction in desire to visit the parks, then they raise gate prices to opffset their mismanagement losses, which result in further reductions.

          As soon as a season pass went above $10.00, I stopped going…now those season passes are sitting at…well…see for yourselves: http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/on/pelee/visit/tarifs_fees_e.asp?park=9

          Add ot this the fact that one of the greatest tourist attractions to the park was the annual Monarch migration which has been decimated by both the Mexican freeze several years back which killed billions of Monarchs, as well as the rise in Dow’s and Monsanto’s chemicals being spread across the entire continent without any regard for the ecological catastrophe that their “corporate profits” cause…and this has resulted in yet more drastica reductions in visitors.

          All to a “public park” which we “pay for with our taxes.”

          So if we’re paying for the park with our taxes, why are we paying our employees for access to the park we’ve already paid for?

          • I am surprised that you could not have answered this question yourself. You are paying for care and maintenance, protection of flora and fauna that exists in each park.

          • Of course, you’re right. We pay our taxes to take care of the parks, so we pay fees at the gates to take care of the parks. Makes perfect sense. If you’re a politician.

            There are still people out there who think that we got a great deal with Ontario Hydro as well…

          • Actually our taxes DO NOT go towards maintenance and upkeep of these parks, national historic sites and marine conservation areas. They rely solely on visitor entrance fees. As a front line Parks Canada employee I find a lot of the visiting public has this misconception. It’s unfortunate.

  2. Step by step harper is following the same playbook disgraced former free enterpriser campbell wrote.

    Which is a good thing because as campbell destroyed the BC Liberals harper will destroy the neo-liberal harper agenda once and for all and freeing Canada to boot.

  3. This is another example of dismantling or disabling another one of the institutions that mkes Canada unique. The Parks are a treasure for all Canadians

    • The parks are not going anywhere, they’re still there.

      • But for how long s_c_fy? Harper is playing “Jenga” with the Parks system and I personally think that with these personnel cuts, he has gutted the Parks structure so badly that the entire system will crumble and fail. Harper will then take the opportunity to sell off bits and pieces to private interests. It’s already happened in Jasper where Brewer Bus Lines got the go ahead to build the for-profit Ice-fields lookout. That’s just the thin edge of the wedge.

        • Wow, that’s a lot of paranoia.

          Here’s your logic: if we ever cut anything, it could lead to cutting everything. Therefore government must never spend less. Ever.

          I’d hate to see your personal finances if this is the way you budget.

          Yeah, I’m sure Mount Logan will crumble due to Harper. The Pacific ocean will recede and the Atlantic ocean will dry up. The Bay of Fundy will become a desert and Banff will become a toxic sludge pool. You’re spot on. Great comment.

          I, on the other hand, believe that 99% of Canadians will not notice the difference, that the cuts being implemented will not have a major impact, and the parks as we know them will not change one itty little bit.

          Who the heck cares who builds the ice-fields lookout? Either it’s good or it’s not. If the bus lines can do a good job, then good for them. Just like I don’t need to see the government running the bus lines, I also don’t need to see the government running the construction business either, or the tourism business, or any other.

          Government did not create the mountains and the seas, and government cannot take them away. I don’t go to the parks looking for more government, I go to see nature.

          • FYI s_c_fy, my personal finances and budgeting abilities are stretching one meagre monthly income to support two households thank you very much. It’s not paranoia, it’s reality because, directly due to Harper’s own inability to balance the books (remember, he came into office with a $16 BILLION surplus) I’m supporting not only myself, but also, in part, a relative whose job became “redundant” under Harper’s questionable cuts. My retirement savings are now non-existent, used to make sure said relative has a roof over their head since they are loosing their Government of Canada accommodations (the only ones available, by the way, in the remote area they work in) along with their job. So no, it’s not paranoia just the ability to understand, like many Canadians facing the same issues I am, where the bottom line is going to be as Harper mindlessly cuts and cuts without assessing the future impacts.

          • Um, now you’re trying to connect your retirement savings to the fact that a lookout was built by the bus lines? Strange.

            I’m sorry, but you seem to be confused. Increasing the number of park rangers will not increase your retirement savings.

            Secondly, you are additionally confused by the fact that the government had a surplus. You do realize where the money comes from right? That would be you and me. And then you complain you have little money for retirement. You complain that you have little money and then you complain the government is not taking away what little money you have. Try making sense. If you want the government to spend more on your retirement, or take less in taxes, then you’d think perhaps that spending less on tourist lookouts might be a good thing?

            Hello, this is about Parks Canada. Parks Canada. Get that into your head. Parks. Canada.

          • s_c_fy: You’re being a bit of a douche, and also revealing your bias and ignorance. Our present government is wasting our money on useless things that only benefit themselves and their sleazy friends. For example the recent spending spree by Bev Oda for her trip, with top of the line hotel accommodations and limo rides. Also what do we need the F-35’s for? And how much are they really going to cost? And remember Harper blew a BILLION dollars in one weekend, to hold the G-20 in Toronto when no one wanted it there, and security costs could have been next to nothing if they’d held it up north or somewhere far less populated. There are so many examples of wasted money it’s sickening.

            And the parks WILL disappear, they are making them less desirable to visit by charging too much for the average family to afford, and by not providing proper maintenance or management plans. They will lose the species and sights that make people interested in going. Then when profits drop and the places are degraded, they will have an excuse to sell them off.

            The government is looking at the Parks system all wrong. It should not be about profit, it should be about preserving the wilderness and the wildlife, and our pride in our country. These places are sacred to many Canadians, even people from other places in the world revere our natural spaces. We should make every effort to preserve them, and our government is not reflecting the will of the people but rather their own agenda.

          • I stopped reading after “douche”.

          • Aww, was that too big a word for you?

          • Aww, was that too big a word for you?

  4. Let’s have a look as who and what functions are being cut. I bet it is more science being eliminated.

  5. – it seems clear that science is the first thing to go – that way the government has no facts to argue against! but what about the Parks Canada mandate: to protect the environment for future generations. how can they do that without the scientists.
    – and service reductions: the “summer season” is now the only season and is universally defined (and is shorter than most people and staff would describe it).
    – and how does reducing the public safety specialist’s time (in 1 case I know of), from year-round to 7 months provide an unchanged visitor experience, if they should have an accident?
    – the government rhetoric is sadly misleading and it is not over yet…

    • You got it M and M!! The status reports that are done every year? Well, they’re now going to be done every FIVE years. The Management plans which were done every 5 years are now going to be done every TEN years. So kiss ecological integrity and wildlife populations goodbye.

      And that “summer” season is from late June (if you’re lucky) to August. Some season.

  6. Our National Parks, Reserves and Historic Sites NEED protection. The Conservative government cannot and SHOULD not make cuts to programs, services, hours, etc., as well as threatening to privatize the hot springs pools. Protection is needed for these national treasures. Email, call or write your MP today!

  7. Harper is a control freak and wishes to have everything his way… no questions… PERIOD.
    We should all be in the streets all over the country to demonstrate against his policies. What are we waiting for?

    • Most of us haven’t found anything worth protesting.

  8. I can’t believe the people complaining about this! I guess you don’t mind wasting your hard earned money to pay federal employees to sit around and twiddle their thumbs. Take a reality pill Canada. We can’t afford this oversized government. Cuts are long overdue and I, for one, would love to see more!!

    • I too would like to see cuts, but in the right departments. A question we should ask, what are F-35 fighters going to help us with in tough economic times?

  9. About time we had a government that puts taxpayers first. Parks should raise enough money from camping fees etc to cover maintenance costs. Otherwise us taxpayers are supporting the tourism businesses.

    • What is wrong with us taxpayers supporting the tourism business! Tourists bring revenue in Canada. I think of it as an investment in our great country of Canada which is still the best country in the world to live in!!

    • What about the local ECONOMIES based on the tourism business?? THEY employ people too you know. A “for instance”? Field BC. Many people there run bed & breakfasts that cater to the cross country skiers who come to the area because of the WORLD CLASS skiing. The government won’t be keeping the cross country ski trails open meaning that the B & B owners are facing the collapse of their businesses which provides them with income, which allows them to buys goods and services and so on and so on.

    • Welcome to Canada. If you do not like paying taxes, find a country in this world to live in where you do not pay taxes.

  10. Contacting MY MP will do little to help. You see, the MP in question was “appointed” by Harper – no not chosen by card-carrying members of the local Conservative party but HANDED the position by Harper. He’s just basically a rubber stamp for anything Harper wants to push through with his ill-gotten “majority” and hasn’t got enough integrity to stand up and do what his CONSTITUENTS want.

  11. In order to be protected they need to be supported! Many great programs and events are very poorly attended at some parks and sites. For example, WoodsideNHS had some excellent programming planned for their community last summer, but no one came! Get out there and visit your parks and sites folks….or they may end up like Woodside….functionally closed!

    • They need a Facebook account or something. Because I would have gone if I’d known. It isn’t just closing to the public, though. That can be a temporary thing (like it is now due to some plumbing problem). My great concern is that with ALL staff gone and nobody walking through the home and breathing “life” into it, the decay of age will take over and it will be a short time before the place is condemned–just in time for the Feds to sell it to some enterprising developer. Luxury townhomes, anyone? After all, it isn’t like Mackenzie-King was a Conservative PM!

  12. This is for sure the first step in privatizing the parks. Count on it with this government. Harper is hell bend on destroying anything that is uniquely Canadian, whether it be health care, our recorded history archives, our government owned art and historic buildings, or our Canadian identity itself. Our iconic parks are on the chopping block….push back before we become a US clone and a country which can no longer find pride and pleasure in itself!

  13. This is one budget “cut” of many-to-come. For as long as I can member, many referred to Canada as God’s Country. Beautiful natural spaces, fresh air, clean waters and animals in their natural habitat. The parks belong to the people and the people ARE the country of the Government. The people have paid the Government to maintain and protect these areas. The people never said sell it. That task was not removed from your job description. Canada used to have the friendliest people, customer service and 75% Canadian Pride. Canadians were respectful and considerate (we’ve sold out there as well). We’ve handed out billions of dollars of natural Canada and there is no way we will ever get it back. There is almost no way to avoid becoming part of the sell-out. The Gov’t says it is so. We need our natural spaces preserved. We need our Country preserved for Canadians – not which ever country (China/USA) can buy the most of it. Those in “power” had best get their hands out of their pants pockets (better yet, out of mine). and get your plan together to keep your country (yes, STILL Canada), in tact. Don’t you think it’s time you slept at night?

  14. Governments need that money. They take from our parks and give it freely to the dipshits of the world. Just like the MP who didn’t like the 5 star room she was to stay in.
    But to spend our money on something her little pea brain thought. She should have better than a 5 star hotel.
    MP’s like this and the corporation they feed.
    We lose all that’s great about this country. I ever got my hands on this country. There would be 250 less mp. And more money in tax payers pockets. Plus real brains in office.
    Thank you. you lazy over paid !!!!!!!.

  15. I would like to know what these Parks employees are being paid? Is this another case of unions getting such outrageous wages and benefits that it is impossible for the taxpayers to cover them?
    I also think that the Parks should be looking at alternate ways to generate revenue so that they aren’t so reliant on taxpayers.
    And finally, there are dozens of organizations that could help by providing volunteers to pick up some of the slack so that parks don’t need to cut back on services.
    If the money isn’t there, look for alternatives. This is an opportunity to stand up to adversity and overcome it by being creative and imaginative.