Campers want dialogue on ways to keep park services
Several provicincial parks slated to end overnight camping as a way to save money
A new group has formed in an attempt to change the province's decision that 10 parks will no longer have overnight camping.
Eight of those parks are in northeastern Ontario — including Ivanhoe Provincial Park.
Malcolm MacDonald, the park’s former superintendent, is the spokesperson for the group called "Friends of Ivanhoe Provincial Park."
He's been camping at the park for the past 14 years and his wife has been camping there for more than 20 years. MacDonald said he can't understand why the province would close down a park when there is a waiting list for seasonal sites at Ivanhoe.
"There's about 60 names on the list for the draw — and there's only approximately 33 sites available," he said.
MacDonald noted the group has come up with several ideas to generate revenue for the park, including increasing seasonal camp sites.
He said the province could "take a look at the formula they use to determine the number of seasonal campsites they set aside and increase that number."
The park could also look at implementing boat launch fees, MacDonald added.
The government has noted some of the affected parks need upgrades to infrastructure. But MacDonald said those changes have been needed for years and don't need to be fixed immediately.
"They could come up with a five-year capital plan for the park and spread that cost out over a period of five to 10 years," he said.
A spokesperson with the Ministry of Natural Resources said the government will meet with the group and consider the requests.