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PCs Private Parks Means Paying to Access Public Property

Treaty One Territory, Métis Homeland, Winnipeg, MB - Manitoba Liberals condemn a PC decision to turn over an entire park to a private company that will charge Manitobans for access to public beaches, even when they already have provincial park passes.

In October, Manitoba Liberals were the first party to flag the PCs decision to release a Request for Proposal (RFP) with Travel Manitoba asking companies to rank all of Manitoba's provincial parks and make a plan to sell off and divest ones that weren't profitable.

The plan noted that most of Manitoba's provincial parks had seen no investment in infrastructure or facilities in nearly 50 years.

"Even if you've already paid for a park pass, the PCs are letting a private company set up a toll booth so you have to pay extra to get access to a beach we all own and share," said Lamont. "That's the essence of privatization: letting private companies make money charging you for something that's already yours."

In 2017, Lamont ran for Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party on a promise of "no privatizations" - no selling off public assets or replacing public jobs with private ones, which was reaffirmed in the party's 2019 platform.

The PCs have privatized Manitoba Housing, Lifeflight Air Ambulance, and now parks. The NDP also contracted out private services to Stars Air Ambulance and sold Manitoba's land titles registry.

"If the company was just running the campground, it would be one story, but they're running the park. The PCs have no understanding of preserving natural areas - they only see value in something if it is being consumed, boxed up and sold, said Lamont. "Parks are a public service, and if you turn them into profit centres, it destroys everything that makes them valuable."


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