New Brunswick is increasing the prices of its provincial parks, campsites, and cabins, with some prices even doubling.
The province is also introducing a tiered pricing system, with seasonal rates going up, park entrance fees increasing by 50%, and fees designated for beach maintenance going up by 66%, according to a report by CBC.
This has caused frustration among park visitors, with Salma Burney, a moderator of the Camping New Brunswick Facebook group, questioning the fairness of the system.
“If they’re owned by taxpayers, then why do taxpayers have to pay twice as much to use something where their tax dollars have gone to?” Burney said.
The new system also includes high-season and low-season rates, with the cost of camping sites going up 25% during the summer months and the May long weekend compared to the rest of the year.
This has left families like Matt Richard, who has had a seasonal spot at Mactaquac Provincial Park for the last two years, feeling upset. “Everything is going up, but to go from CA$1,750 to now CA$2,250 and you still have no sewer hook-up, that’s a drastic increase,” Richard said.
Burney expressed her concerns that the high prices during the summer months could mean that lower-income families will suffer the most, either having to pay more or schedule time away from school and work in order to avoid paying steeper rates.
“It shouldn’t be cost prohibitive, but now they’re putting it in a level where, you know, the lower-income people can’t just enjoy a simple camping trip with their family,” Burney said.
Tourism, Heritage, and Culture Minister Tammy Scott-Wallace declined an interview about the fees, but spokesperson Mark Taylor sent a statement about what the fee increases pay for.
This statement cited new accessible family washroom buildings at several campgrounds, upgraded and winterized shelters, “significant capital improvements to power/sewage/water services on site” at the largest campgrounds, and “an accessible playground, washrooms, family area and other infrastructure at Parlee Beach.”
Despite these improvements, the sentiment among park visitors continues to be negative, with Burney reporting that there are fees for everything, including booking, cancellations, and firewood.
The province has proposed raising some of these fees annually until at least 2025, which has only added to the frustration of park visitors.
The new pricing system for New Brunswick’s provincial parks has raised concerns about fairness and affordability for families, especially during the summer months.
Despite the improvements cited by the province, park visitors are still unhappy with the increased fees for everything. They fear that this will make it difficult for lower-income families to enjoy a simple camping trip with their loved ones.
Canada – Modern Campground Read More