Apparently, our provincial park system is under severe distress.
What horror is our government foisting on us now?
It is an unassailable fact that our province is experiencing an unprecedented cash crunch as our elected government struggles to deal with ever-expanding needs for health care and education. Not to mention a growing debt that must be serviced.
So, what is it with the proliferation of wasteful and politically motivated lawn signs suggesting our park system is in peril?
In a world of facts, fact checking and “alternative facts,” I must protest the deliberate characterization of the government’s plan as part of a nefarious scheme to destroy our park land and turn it over to those who would plunder it for personal gain.
The facts, based on my research of the government’s position, are that they are removing 0.3 per cent of all provincial park land and returning it to Crown status with all the protections afforded that.
About 99.7 per cent of the land remains unaffected.
The basis for this decision is that the identified lands represent about seven per cent of the provincial parks budget ($5 million of a $70 million budget).
Quibble about the details if you want, but when times are tight, a seven per cent saving at the expense of a 0.3 per cent impact seems like a no brainer.
This government was elected with a very specific goal of balancing a budget and preserving the most important services they provide.
Further to this they have opened the door to municipalities, Indigenous groups and not-for-profit organizations to step in to fill the void.
I’m pretty sure that CPAWS is a not-for-profit organization, but if they wanted to, they could view this as an opportunity and step up to fill the void.
Instead they have chosen to politicize the process with a proliferation of misleading lawn signs offered at “no cost” to taxpayers to advance an unbalanced position.
There are no voids on my lawn that need filling. I'd rather plant a tree.