Government Committee recommends increase to BC Parks Funding


Vancouver, B.C. – Last week, a new government report from the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services has recommended for the second year in a row an increase in funding for BC Parks. The committee acknowledged that the current level of funding for BC Parks is insufficient, and recommended that the provincial government ensure funding is set to an adequate level for BC Parks to meet their mandate. In particular, they have recommended that funding be indexed to inflation and that there is sufficient ranger staff to protect and maintain our parks.

“This comes as promising news in the ongoing struggle to ensure adequate funding for our provincial parks. We’re glad to see the extent of the problem being recognised by our government officials, and hope to see immediate follow through with these recommendations in the 2017 budget,” said Jessie Corey, Terrestrial Conservation Manager for CPAWS-BC.

 

Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux Heritage Park

 


Despite having the largest provincial park system in Canada, BC Parks has some of the lowest levels of funding on a per-hectare basis. For comparison, BC Parks is given a little over $2 per hectare to manage our entire provincial parks system, as opposed to over $25 per hectare that Alberta Parks receives. The BC Parks budget has been effectively frozen since 2001, despite a substantial increase in the number of hectares under protection since then. 

"While the recommendations of committee, if implemented, are a welcome first step towards addressing this problem, a lot more still needs to be done. We’d like to see more money invested in science and monitoring to ensure better protection for our parks, as well as the reintroduction of interpretive services that the government cut over a decade ago,” added Corey.

There are currently over 1000 parks and protected areas managed by BC Parks, for a total of 14,069,881 hectares. Their annual operational budget is about $30 million. CPAWS-BC is calling for this to be increased to a minimum of $60 million.

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 Contact:
 Jessie Corey, Terrestrial Conservation Manager, CPAWS-BC
 jessie@cpawsbc.org, 604-685-445 ext 25
 For more information: http://cpawsbc.org/campaigns/provincialparks