EDMONTON – The Alberta Government wants to hand off the management of 164 provincially run parks to outside groups. A spokeswoman for Provincial Environment Minister Jason Nixon says the current parks system is struggling financially and needs to be modernized.
New Democrat Environment Critic Marlin Schmidt says looking at parks as a cost issue misses the point of having them.
“It is an outrage this way to look at the parks system. The Provincial Parks are Albertans’ natural heritage. We need to collectively care for these parks. It shouldn’t be seen as a cost subsidy.”
“It is how we preserve our natural heritage for future generations,” adds Schmidt.
The list of parks the province hopes to hand off to municipalities, non-profit groups or indigenous bands has not been released. Alberta currently manages 473 protected areas of various kinds.