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Alberta seeks partners for 164 parks to focus spending on 'high value areas'

Finance Minister Travis Toews, left, delivers the budget as Alberta Premier Jason Kenney watches in Edmonton on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON — The Alberta government wants to hand off management of 164 provincially run parks to outside groups.

The move was hinted at in yesterday’s budget and confirmed by a spokeswoman for Environment Minister Jason Nixon.

Jess Sinclair says the United Conservative government will begin looking for partners to run the parks in May.

She says the government is subsidizing a financially struggling parks system that needs to be modernized.

Budget documents say some provincial parks will in the future by run by everyone from municipalities and Indigenous groups to non-profit societies.

The documents say that will allow the province to focus its funding on “high-value areas.”

The government has budgeted for a slight decline in parks spending over the next three years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2020

The Canadian Press