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BC Parks Budget and Spending

The greatest single challenge facing BC Parks is implementing a long-term plan in which we can meet our obligation to secure our natural legacy for a growing number of users in a financially sustainable way.
—BC Parks Future Strategy: Securing our natural legacy through innovation, sustainability and partnership
How nice that the one time the provincial Government decides to increase funding for BC Parks, that nearly all the money is then immediately transferred to private for-profit park operators to compensate them for Covid closures.
No new trails, no new rangers, just bailouts for private companies.
So much for saving money through privatization and capitalism.

This from Steve Jones.
 
"Some interesting notes from the Hansard today:
The Ministry of Environment applied for and received $8.1 million in additional funds for BC Parks due to COVID-19. However, they then transferred almost all of that money to the private for-profit park operators. A portion of that money was direct compensation to the private for-profit park operators for lost revenue during the closures. I'd like a lot more transparency into that.
"Hon. G. Heyman: Thank you to the member for the question. We applied and received $8.1 million of the $3.5 billion for expenses related to B.C. Parks, to support additional park maintenance, including compliance patrols to enforce the closures; to prepare parks for a gradual reopening that started in mid-May, when restrictions began to be relaxed and continue to this day; to purchase personal protective equipment, equipment and signage to manage park visitors; and to provide enhanced cleaning of high-touch surfaces when parks reopen.
Much of this was supplied to park operators, and there was also some compensation for lost revenue — all of it wrapped up in the $8.1 million."
 

Rupert Merer provided Backcountry BC with his excellent report of BC Parks Spending from the Late 1980's.  

Some of the most noteable trends are BC Park's heavy shift away from staff to constractors with their capital expenditures.

Most important is a dramatic shift of funding priorities away from backcountry facilities to front country facilities.

View Rupert's full report at the link below:

BC Parks Spending from the Late 1980s

 

In 1470, Paolo Uccello painted Saint George fighting a dragon to save a damsel in distress.
 
The painting led me to reflect upon cash starved BC Parks, events of late, and my experience with BC Parks over the decades.
I wonder if BC Parks is the damsel in distress, or is in fact the dragon itself?
 
I personally believe the world is never so black and white, and perhaps BC Parks is both part dragon and part damsel in distress.

Steve Jones in the Medium presented four possible outcomes/solutions for the current decline of BC Parks funding. I have provided a few additional options below worthy of consideration.

  1. Quotas and Closures
  2. Downgrade Facilities
  3. Increase Fees
  4. Commercialize the Parks

https://medium.com/@stevejoneshikes/whats-next-for-bc-parks-in-an-era-of-declining-budgets-and-continued-growth-of-the-tourism-991b1f9eebbd

My Solutions

5) Stop punishing, issuing fines, shutting down and repelling individual volunteers and volunteer groups (with obfuscation, excuses, avoidance, needless delays and mountains of red tape) from improving trails and facilities within parks. Why keep rejecting and punishing free labour? Why not encourage, support and partner with the eager and the willing?
6) Spend the budget you have better. For brevity, I won't list the waste and mistakes here. 
7) Return to the original mission statement as outlined by the BCMC founders in the 1950s.
If BC Parks can't do number 5 to 7, I fail to see why they deserve additional funding. Or if the agency is truly too far gone to consider 5 - 7, perhaps consider the nuclear options below:
8) Reset the agency, purge, drain the swamp and start all over again with new staff and management. 
9) Re-assign many of our parks to other Government agencies such as Metro Vancouver