Legislative Report (26 September 2007)

A New Provincial Parks Initiative

Saskatchewan’s provincial parks and regional parks are a source of pride for Saskatchewan people and the second largest tourist attraction in the province. But, there’s so much more we can do to improve our parks. That’s why, if elected, a Saskatchewan Party government has developed an exciting plan for our province’s parks. We have been listening to Saskatchewan campers and tourists and their concerns about Saskatchewan’s parks – and have acted on that input.

Announced this week, a Saskatchewan Party plan for will create about 1,000 new electrified campsites, which is a 40 percent increase. One of the most popular parts of the Sask Party plan is that we’d do away with the very unpopular NDP ‘wiener roast tax’. A Sask Party government would also invest a total of $20 million in Saskatchewan’s parks over the next four years. Some of the funds would be directed to some much-needed infrastructure improvements in our parks. $2.5 million will go toward improving programming at parks, hiring more summer students, and increasing security during long weekends. Our regional parks haven’t been left out, either. The plan will triple funding for regional parks in the province, which is an investment of $2.4 million over four years.

To keep camping rates affordable, the free park entry program for seniors will be extended for another four years, and camping fees will be raised by two dollars for out-of-province visitors. Everyone is benefiting from the elimination of the ‘wiener roast tax’, so out-of-province campers will still receive excellent value when camping in our parks. And, since Saskatchewan families subsidize our province’s parks, we want to make sure that Saskatchewan families can enjoy our parks.

The Saskatchewan Party also announced other tourism initiatives this week. A Saskatchewan Party government would double the province’s current $8 million tourism budget. This is a sector that is responsible for 21,000 direct and 60,000 indirect tourism-related jobs. Again, there is so much more that can be done. The additional funding would be used in a variety of ways, including: enhanced and consistent highway signage promoting tourism attractions; additional marketing activities; increased northern and eco-tourism; support for First Nations tourism initiatives; and, capital investment in ecological, paleontological, museum and heritage facilities.

The Saskatchewan Party has new and innovative plans for Saskatchewan parks and tourism – and for the rest of the province too. Our plan is to truly realize our province’s potential and to turn our current economic boom into long-term growth and prosperity.

If you have a question about this report or any other matter, just Contact Lyle.

Past Legislative Reports