Provincial Parks are for people, not profit
Mar 22, 2021
Time for Manitobans to voice our concerns over privatization of our provincial parks
As part of a system-wide review, the Manitoba government is currently looking at privatizing, contracting out, or divesting our provincial parks – and Manitobans are being asked to weigh in.
“For years now, this government has not invested in the Department of Conservation and Climate and MGEU members on the front-lines have been left facing the dire consequences of such budget cuts, including unsustainably high vacancy rates and rundown amenities,” said MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky. “I’ve written Minister Guillemard to remind her that parks are for people, not profit, but we need everyone who believes parks are a public good — a place where families, hikers, and nature enthusiasts go to enjoy our beautiful province and explore its natural places — to complete the provincial survey.”
Several months ago, a Request for Proposals (RFP) was awarded to the private consulting firm MNP to complete an evaluation of our parks system with the findings presented to the Minister by the spring of 2021.
“We are gravely concerned with the course of action suggested in the RFP, which asks whether parks should be “divested” or “decommissioned” through the evaluation process,” Gawronsky said.
Based on the information in the RFP, as well as previous consultant reports commissioned by Government, many options are on the table, including:
• Raising cottage fees, business fees, park passes, campground fees, and service fees;
• Decommissioning parks;
• Contracting out services like campground management, park maintenance, security, and enforcement; and
• Selling or leasing campgrounds.
“As more Manitobans visit our parks rather than travel out of province due to the pandemic, the interest in trails, waterways, and campgrounds has only increased,” Gawronsky said. “Investment in these natural treasures, as well affordable access to them, is more important than ever.”
Tell the government provincial parks are for people, not profit: sign the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society petition now
Complete the provincial survey