NDP environment critic takes shot at minister’s parks column

Heyman: B.C. Liberals starving BC Parks system since forming government

To the editor:

I am writing regard Environment Minister Mary Polak’s guest editorial, headlined Improving access to provincial campgrounds, on page A8 in your July 14, 2016 edition.

It’s been a decade and a half since the B.C. Liberals were elected but they still can’t bear to take responsibility for anything that goes wrong in this province. The B.C. Liberal government has had 15 years to build campsites, but they chose to starve our parks system of funding and close campgrounds instead.

Now that the results of years of decisions are clear for anyone trying to book a campsite to see, the Minister of the Environment wants to blame someone, anyone else, for her government’s inaction.

Before blaming hypothetical protesters for stopping hypothetical campsites, the Christy Clark government should restore funding to B.C. parks to what it was before the Liberals took power. For every dollar that the New Democrat government invested in parks in 2001, the B.C. Liberals are spending 75 cents today.

Indeed, the only significant addition that the B.C. Liberals made to our parks in 15 years was the installation of parking meters. That they later took them out doesn’t erase the fact that the Christy Clark government sees our B.C. parks as just another way to tax hard-working families.

That’s why the Christy Clark Liberals raised camping prices yet again last year, they raised them this year, and they will raise them again.

Gone are the park interpreters, gone is the toilet paper. What’s left are higher prices, and reduced access.

Whether it is camping fees, hydro bills or ICBC payments, every year life gets less affordable under the Christy Clark government.

George Heyman, MLA

NDP environment spokesperson