Keeping provincial parks affordable, accessible


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Keeping Provincial Parks Affordable and Accessible

Manitoba’s first provincial park was established 63 years ago. Generations of Manitobans have benefitted from camping, hiking, and many other outdoor experiences. As proclaimed in the Manitoba Provincial Park Act, parks were established to protect biodiversity and ecosystems, to preserve unique cultural and heritage resources, and to provide recreational and educational opportunities and experiences in a natural setting.

Keeping parks accessible and affordable is a priority for the Manitoba NDP. Unfortunately, the Progressive Conservative government does not share this priority. In 2020, the PC government commissioned an assessment of parks to identify “which assets should be divested” and how to “decommission or transition parks to other models.”

Winnipeg Free Press file photo

Manitoba’s provincial parks are natural treasures which should be preserved for generations to come.

In December the government finally released that report, months after the minister received it. It’s not surprising that instead of focusing on accessibility and affordability, the report focuses on how to make provincial parks more profitable. Park permits for vehicles already cost more since the PCs outsourced the purchasing system to a Texas company. This report opens the door for further privatization of park services. We know that the PC government wants to privatize essential services such as health care and Hydro, and we are concerned that they will turn to parks next.

Manitobans know that privatizing provincial services is never the right choice. The PC government’s approach to parks is all about the bottom line, but there are many other important things to consider. Research shows that mental health and quality of life can be improved by spending time in nature. Like many Canadians, Manitobans utilized parks like never before to manage the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic and to seek hope and joy in nature. This is something that must remain accessible for all Manitobans.

We also have a responsibility to protect habitats and ensure continued biodiversity. The government’s focus on revenue and privatization does not consider this responsibility or the importance of preserving these spaces for future generations.

The Manitoba NDP believes that there’s a different, better approach that would consider all the benefits of our provincial parks, not just the revenue they bring in. This would involve working more closely with Indigenous people and ensuring that Manitobans have affordable access to the incredible outdoor spaces our province has to offer. We believe that preserving nature must be an important part of our fight against climate change.

I want to hear from you What do provincial parks mean to you? Contact my office at or 204-792-2773.

Lisa Naylor

Lisa Naylor
Wolseley constituency report

Lisa Naylor is the NDP MLA for Wolseley.

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