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LETTER: Online booking system for national, provincial parks needs to change, reader says

Viola Lefebvre doesn't think it is fair that some people are booking sites for weeks at a time far in advance, and then cancelling later
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SooToday received the following letter to the editor from Viola Lefebvre regarding booking campsites for provincial parks in Ontario and national parks in Canada:

The provincial parks did not fare well last summer with the higher volume of inexperienced campers..... Will these areas be monitored and cared for?

Your tips don't help much when people are booking way more than what they need in order to secure a campsite and then cancelling what they can't use or didn't want in the first place.

The system needs to be changed... Charging a higher cancellation fee to help offset the added expense of the volume of campers might be worth a try.

The problem is, for lower income families, camping was at least a somewhat more accessible and financially manageable vacation, and right now these families are being left out.

The parks exist for everyone to use, not just the people who can afford to book weeks and the cancellation fees.

The same goes for camping on crown land - the choice spots and more - have trailers on them that have been there for periods of time that extend far beyond the rules, some maybe years. How is that right or fair?

Not to mention the destruction of such spots.

Then, there is the campsite reservation lottery.

It is a huge challenge to book a campsite in our parks. Having limited internet service in the rural areas makes it nearly impossible. For myself, I live in a rural area and lost several reservations options while my computer and network circled endlessly only to discover that those campsites were no longer available.

I know I'm not alone.

It's a lottery that I and my rural counterparts will never win, and of course the phone line is always busy.

I hope you all have a better plan to manage all this stuff. I've camped right across the country from Labrador to Alaska and everywhere in between.

I hope a solution is in the works because I hope to continue camping across the country for many years yet.

I love Canada, but visitors do judge by the conditions of the campgrounds.

Thank you,
Viola Lefebvre