Campsite Fees Tripled After Manitoba Parks Service Privatized

Picnic table beside RV camper and lake.
June 8, 2021

Campsite fees are three times higher at St. Ambroise Provincial Park after a private company was awarded a 21-year lease to manage what used to be a public service.

The government is also considering decommissioning some parks and imposing trail fees on people who have already paid for a park pass.

We need your help to remind the government that parks are for people — not for profit.

Help keep park services accessible for ALL Manitobans. 

Take action now to defend Manitoba parks. Send a letter to the government with this simple form.

What’s at Risk —  Privatizing Park Services, Higher Fees and Fewer Parks

The government has repeatedly said that our parks are “not for sale” despite documents showing its intent to run provincial parks like a business and to shed unprofitable “assets.”

We learned in October 2020 that the government is considering decommissioning some provincial parks while also seeking greater “financial sustainability” for the parks that remain. 

The next item on the list was imposing trail fees on people who already paid for a park pass.

We found out on June 4, 2021, that a private company was awarded a 21-year lease to run a campground at St. Ambroise Provincial Park on January 1, 2021.

The result is campsite fees are now $50/night, while seasonal rates are expected to jump as high as $3,750 next year when the RV park is fully developed. Publicly run campsites charge $11-23/night and have seasonal rates ranging from $446 to $1,061.

News broke June 10, 2021, that a private company was awarded a contract to build cabins in Turtle Mountain Provincial Park, in violation of the park’s management plan.

What comes next?

Click here to write a letter to Premier Brian Pallister.

Parks Should Be Accessible to All Manitobans 

Excessive park fees harm working families by pricing people out of cherished traditions like camping, hiking and taking kids to the beach.

Expecting park visitors to shoulder the financial burden of park management is bad policy. We saw a drastic loss of services in national parks — including well-loved cross-country trails in Riding Mountain National Park — when the Harper government made revenue generation a priority in national parks. 

Seeking “financial sustainability” also ignores the huge contributions parks make to local and regional economies through recreation and tourism. Every dollar invested in parks returns $6 to the Canadian economy, a study by the Canadian Parks Council found.

Please take action now to keep parks accessible to all Manitobans.

To learn more, check out these news stories:

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CPAWS Manitoba has helped establish 23 parks and protected areas thanks to people like you.

With your help, we can protect half our lands and waters for future generations of people and wildlife.