Nova Scotia

Cape Breton Highlands National Park suffering from cuts

The services offered at the Cape Breton Highlands National Park have been reduced this fall after job cuts and a reduction in hours for seasonal workers.

12 jobs cut, 11 positions have reduced hours

Job cuts and reduced hours at the Cape Breton Highlands National Park will impair services and hurt the province's tourism industry, says the union representing Parks Canada workers.

"The problem the parks are encountering is that the work force adjustment that was implemented by the federal government and parks had to participate in has staff finishing earlier this year then they would normally finish as part of their reduction in their season of employment," said Eddie Kennedy, vice-president with the Union of National Employees, a division of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

"So what's happening is that some of the sites are still open, but their capability to offer the same level of service they would have had last year has been diminished because of that," he said.

In the spring the union said 12 positions in the park would be cut and 11 positions would have reduced hours.

Kennedy said his members should still be on the job providing services to tourists.

The federal government announced the cuts to Parks Canada back in the spring, in an effort to balance its budget by 2014.

The union expects even more cuts next year.

"I would be shocked if the public wasn't a bit dismayed to find out that some of their favorite sites like Alexander Graham Bell next year will be moving to a five day a week operation in the fall instead of a seven day a week operation. Which I'm sure will impact not only on the overall visitation numbers but their ability to be open for the Celtic Colours festival," said Kennedy.

A spokesman for Parks Canada said there will be no additional cuts. Chip Bird told CBC News the quality of services offered at the park won't be affected under the budget reductions.