The BC Provincial Budget is just weeks away and BC Parks badly need your help!
We are asking our members and the general public to arrange for one or more of your members in our member organisations and private individuals to visit one of the Government MLAs on the attached list and deliver a simple message:
“BC’s Provincial Parks have been seriously underfunded for many years. The funding of BC Parks must be significantly increased if British Columbia is to have its SuperNatural reputation restored"
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BC Parks provides a variety of services and facilities for residents and tourists
Tourism has never been such a vital component of the BC economy. For every $1 invested in BC Parks, $8.40 is spent by park users. Source: BC Parks Annual Report 2013 – 2014, page 37
BC residents are the principal users of BC Parks and they gain significant health benefits from their use of the parks.
In the last 20 years the area of the BC Parks system more than doubled, from 6.5 million hectares to 14 million hectares, and the number of Provincial Parks and Protected Areas in the system increased from 490 to 1029 (2014)
In the same 20 year period the number of Full Time Employees (FTEs) was reduced from 486 to 195 (2014).
Although partially replaced by Park Facility Operators(PFOs), the PFOs do not have the same responsibilities, knowledge or authority as Park Rangers. During the 20 year period, BC Parks’ operational budget has remained about the same in dollar terms.
It was $31.7 million in 2014. The 2015 report from the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services recommended that the BC Parks’ budget be increased to provide a higher level of maintenance and service and to increase the number of Park Rangers.
In 2016, the pressure on BC Parks facilities will be as never before as more non-resident tourists take advantage of the low Canadian dollar and more BC residents stay home for their vacations.
The BC Parks operational budget must be increased to:
- Maintain infrastructure Improve and enhance the BC Parks system
- Hire more Park Rangers
All MLA’s are requested to support for these recommendations This fact sheet has been prepared by the Outdoor Recreation Council of British Columbia with the assistance of its members Note: All of the above information was obtained from BC Government sources.
Use the Find MLA tool on the BC Legislative Assembly page to find your MLA and add your voice to support BC Parks today.