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Manitoba Liberal Statement on PCs Awarding RFP to Sell Off Parks

"Manitoba Liberals are extremely concerned with the PCs decision to proceed with a request for proposal (RFP) to commercialize and privatize Manitoba's provincial parks.

The RFP that was awarded today specifically asks consultants to rank all 76 parks in Manitoba from a "business feasibility perspective" and asks for a plan that looks to "Decommission / transition parks to other models."

The PCs are misleading Manitobans about the privatization of parks. On November 26, the Director of the Parks branch wrote a letter on behalf of Minister Conservation Sarah Guillemard, saying, "Manitoba's provincial parks are not for sale." This may be technically true because they are not for sale - yet.

It is worth pointing out that the RFP says that Manitoba's parks have been neglected for 50 years. The NDP and PCs alike allowed mining and logging in provincial parks, which has had devastating effects on wildlife populations.

Instead of asking the many people who work in Parks and Conservation what should be done, the government and Travel Manitoba are spending $200,000 on consultants.

Some things should not be for sale. Parks are a public service, and public services create value in and of themselves. We don't expect libraries or the law courts to make money: they are services that make everyone better off. Barring people from access is unjust.

If the consultants who are being asked to write this RFP are honest, they will recognize that the single biggest threat to Manitoba's provincial parks is the Pallister Government."

- Dougald Lamont, MLA St. Boniface, Manitoba Liberal Leader

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