No park closures without consultation: ManthaSaturday, October 06, 2012 by: SooToday.com Staff
NDP: No park closures without consultation
ELLIOT LAKE – Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha is concerned about the future of Ontario’s Provincial Parks system, and the impact it will have on small Northern communities like Elliot Lake, Chapleau, Wawa and White River.
“The recent cuts to Ontario’s parks are a real blow,” said Mantha. “When nine out of ten park closures happen in the Northern Ontario, it sends a clear message about what this government thinks about the North. Three of the affected parks are in Algoma-Manitoulin: Mississagi, The Shoals, and Obatanga.”
The Ministry of Natural Resources has announced a number of cuts which will see overnight camping shut down at ten parks, downsizing of 130 positions, and the end of the Ontario Ranger program.
“These closures and job losses will have a devastating impact for neighbouring communities,” said Mantha. “Residents of Elliot Lake have been struggling to rebuild since the mall collapse, and now with the cuts at Mississagi Park, they have to deal with more job losses and fewer tourism dollars. Many of these northern communities have been devastated with mine and mill closures and it feels like the government is kicking us when we’re already down."
Tory MPPs have broached the idea of parks being operated by the private sector, but Mantha is concerned by the idea.
“I think the public loses almost every time the private sector gets involved in administering public goods. Look at the ORNGE fiasco, or the ONTC. No one around here thinks service will improve under private ownership,” said Mantha.
“Ontario’s parks belong to the people. Let’s make sure it stays that way,” argued Mantha. “The government should consult with local municipalities, First Nations, and stakeholders to find meaningful solutions.”
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cjborg 10/6/2012 9:54:50 AM Report
LaLa land thinking again.... This is what happens when you have an Orange Sweep across the north... Hopefully voters will think carefully before they vote for a party in the next provincial election.
"The Rump Party" thinks everything should be run by the government... tax everyone to the same level (ground wise).. a chicken in every pot... thinking... Good luck MPP Mantha
RonBes 10/6/2012 10:49:23 AM Report
And the alternative is... Privatize it? No thanks. We've seen it happen time and time again; under that scenario, all the front-line staff take a pay cut, but you get a CEO or upper management that takes all the new-found "efficiency" and puts it straight into their pocket(s). Like Mantha says - the public loses.
BKM 10/6/2012 10:56:30 AM Report
You nailed it RonBes. Want to bet that, after the big public outcry, they compromise by giving the running of the parks to some of their political friends? "Thanks for your support in my campaign."
geterdun 10/6/2012 12:55:56 PM Report
The people of Ontario are losing everything under the Libs, They have and are trying to privitize everything.......As time goes by you will all see that this goverment has sold us out to the higher bidder who in turn will be demanding it back from the people who use the facilities..If you take the time to read about privitization in Europe you will see what kind of turmoil they are in now..The Liberals dont care about the province or who runs it.they are going to be getting their huge pensions anyway and will probably move to the states to spend it ....Ontario is on a slippery slope of privitizing everything we own or owned say goodbye to everything in this province people we are getting the knife in the back from these crooks.....