Posted on Mar 16, 2021
UCP WILL HIT ALBERTA FAMILIES WITH NEW PARKS FEES, ADMITS MINISTER
EDMONTON - UCP Environment Minister Jason Nixon admitted last night that he plans to extract tens of millions of dollars worth of new fees from Alberta families enjoying their provincial parks this year.
Marlin Schmidt, NDP Critic for Environment and Parks, questioned Nixon in budget estimates debate last night about whether there would be new day-use park fees levied against families. Nixon initially dodged the question.
“Is it fair to say that in line 2 on page 95 that there are no new day-use fees being contemplated to be collected and being represented in this year’s budget?” pressed Schmidt. “Is that an accurate statement?”
“What an accurate statement is,” replied Nixon, “is that there are new fees within this year’s budget. The Alberta parks budget will be fully funded to be able to operate. And depending on user access and what the numbers are, the Alberta government will continue to look at user fees including new user fees I haven’t identified today, to make sure our parks system can operate fully.”
Alberta’s NDP Opposition raised the alarm about new parks fees shortly after the budget was released. The budget documents make a passing mention of $20 million worth of “new or increased fees in Environment and Parks,” but Nixon failed to list them in the budget’s table of new fees.
“Once again, Jason Kenney and the UCP thought they could hide the truth from Albertans,” Schmidt said. “First they wouldn’t tell the truth about their plans to sell off Alberta parks. Now, not only are they charging Albertans more to use their own parks, but they won’t even come clean about the details of their new fees.
“Jason Nixon can find $30 million annually by scrapping his idiotic energy war room,” Schmidt said. “End the war on a children’s Bigfoot cartoon, and that will save more than enough to end this nickel-and-diming of Alberta families with park fees.”