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TorontoCon





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:11 am    Post subject: Privatization of National Parks Reply with quote

I have become aware that in the recent budget, there are notions to privatize national parks. Is this true or is this the Green Party stretching the truth?
kwlafayette





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if it is true or not, but it would be a good idea. Ever notice how when everybody owns something, no one maintains it? Like the lunch fridge at work.
hamiltonguyo





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think precisely the opposite.

The Parks are owned and well maintained by the Government.

Any private buyer would basically have to make a large return on it? How?

Ripping up half the park for Natural Resource Development and turning the other half into resort and retirement communities.

There will be no natural beauty left in them if it's sold.
FF_Canuck





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be open to the private delivery of Park services, but the land should stay publicly owned. The government of Alberta did this with their provincial parks about 10 years ago, and its worked rather well, IMO.
TorontoCon





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't like the idea at all and would be prepared to protest against it actually (and I'm not the protesting type...). No single person or group should have control of NATIONAL parks.

We all own a piece of it and I agree with hamiltonguy that they are "maintained" well. I mean c'mon. This is NATURE for crying out loud!!!! The less human involvement, the better. How much does it take to maintian some roadways and trails and a few buildings... :roll:
FF_Canuck





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TorontoCon wrote:
I don't like the idea at all and would be prepared to protest against it actually (and I'm not the protesting type...). No single person or group should have control of NATIONAL parks.


The government would still be in control, they'd just contract out services. For example turn campgrounds over to be privately operated.

Quote:
We all own a piece of it and I agree with hamiltonguy that they are "maintained" well. I mean c'mon. This is NATURE for crying out loud!!!! The less human involvement, the better. How much does it take to maintian some roadways and trails and a few buildings... :roll:


Well, this year, it took $24.6 million to create new heritage areas, $199 million to maintain what we currently have, and $267 million to 'enhance visitor experience' (spruce things up, I'm guessing). That doesn't include the maintenance of their own administration buildings, roads and highways, and other miscellany. Only 17% of the Parks Canada Budget is generated by revenues.

LINK
FascistLibertarian





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Either way, more needs to be done to protect Canada's environment and use our natural resources in a sustainable manner.
Cool Blue





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
don't like the idea at all and would be prepared to protest against it actually (and I'm not the protesting type...). No single person or group should have control of NATIONAL parks.


Just speculation here but I imagine what's being proposed is hiring private businesses to run the parks instead of having government unionized employees do it.
Bleatmop





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am with Hamilton and TO here. Our National Parks are a symbol of our nation to foreign tourists, and to ourselves. They should be maintained by our Federal government (the people). Cost is not an issue to me when it comes to our national symbols.
Cool Blue





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tourists come to Canada to see our government employees?
Bleatmop





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool Blue wrote:
Tourists come to Canada to see our government employees?


Tourists see and interact the employees of the Parks they come to see. I prefer they remain government employees.
FascistLibertarian





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Our National Parks are a symbol of our nation to foreign tourists, and to ourselves.


So true. Ever seen a bunch of Japanese tourists on the side of the road looking at a deer in our national parks? Canada is the envy of the world and we should be doing more to protect our environment!
Mac





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bleatmop wrote:
I prefer they remain government employees.

Why? What possible difference could it make... other than paying a CUPE wage & benefits package versus private wages & benefits?

I hadn't thought about the idea of privatizing parks before so I'll have to give it some thought before I commit to a firm position. I know the classic libertarian position is governments should not hold property since doing so interferes with private ownership but I always took that to mean developed land. I suspect the same principle applies for parks.

Off the top of my head, I can say that housing developments (the result suggested by hamiltonguyo) couldn't happen without zoning. Natural resource development doesn't happen without permits either. So selling off the parks doesn't mean such things will automatically happen.

In fact, it's easier for companies to do resource development on Crown land since they don't have to factor cost of land purchase into their budgets, only things like stumpage fees... and they have less incentive to be good stewards to the land since they don't own it and can walk away at any time, leaving any mess for the government to clean up.

Run this one around in your heads, folks... Let's say the national parks are sold with covenants to remain undeveloped except for eco-friendly activities (like eco-tourism, white water rafting, whatever) so new owners can reasonably expect to have profitable and sustainable ventures? The province or territory take over control of zoning (and taxation) and the feds maintain control of permits for mineral rights.

So where's the downside? Our warm and fuzzy feeling in knowing there's a big chunk of land which we, as individuals, cannot control but our government (as a legal entity) can? I can get over that.

-Mac
Craig
Site Admin




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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Employees that can be fired are more likely to work hard to keep patrons happy.
TorontoCon





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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac wrote:
Natural resource development doesn't happen without permits either. So selling off the parks doesn't mean such things will automatically happen.-Mac


But it also makes it more likely and easier... Private companies aren't accountable to the people. Government is. And if "overdevelopment", resourse or or housing.... was happening while a certain government was in power, it could be an election issue. Governments have to be accountable for their actions. Private companies just worry about the bottom line. That's fine in MOST instances but not when you're talking about Canada's National parks.

Mac wrote:
Run this one around in your heads, folks... Let's say the national parks are sold with covenants to remain undeveloped -Mac


Trying to keep an open mind but it just seems to risky and convuluted. Too many possible new loopholes to overcome.

Mac wrote:
So where's the downside? Our warm and fuzzy feeling in knowing there's a big chunk of land which we, as individuals, cannot control but our government (as a legal entity) can? I can get over that.-Mac


[quote="Mac"]This goes MUCH further than some "warm and fuzzy" feeling.... please don't try and downplay this issue as a psychological "blanky". These parks are more than just some basic piece of land and I think that most Canadians want to know that our Canadian government is in control of, not some unknown "group".

Your statement is puzzling.... and I hope it was just a symptom of quick typing. You say that "we, as individuals" are not in control of our government?? If that's true then Democracy is TRULY BROKEN.. Government (as a legal entity...) is an extension of the people. Therefore we the people are in control.

And EVERY party, Conservative, Liberal should worry that their actions while in power will be scrutinized and judged to the Nth degree. If Canadians don't like "bad policy", they won't vote for them next time. Don't you agree? That doesn't mean that some bills get passed that we don't like but then they become election issues, a new government is put in place and the bill gets quashed..

Just ask Jon Tory. Bad policy cost him BIG TIME and he didn't get elected because of it, even though Ontarians WANT change from McGuinty.

If the Conservatives start selling off our National Parks (not the land but the rights to land management) to rich Hong Kong businessmen, recently moved to Canada (now being a true "Canadian"..) there will be a backlash I'm sure.
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Privatization of National Parks

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