Petition pushing to revive Keiji winter camping
There's a new effort underway to reverse cutbacks to services at Kejimkujik National Park.
Kathy Perrier, an avid camper in the park, started an online petition to push the federal government to reverse the cuts.
"I kind of thought it would sit between my close friends and maybe some family," she said. "But it's taken off. It proves to me how much Keiji means to everyone in the province."
Since Labour Day, the park has starting closing on Mondays and Tuesdays. Also, beginning Oct. 9, there will be no services during the winter.
Perrier has been camping in the park her whole life.
"It's a little bit of heaven, you can't help but relax."
She called the government's decision to reduce hours "deplorable."
"It was unbelievable at first, I don't think it really sunk in for myself until I started seeing the signs posted in the park," she said.
"Keiji, in itself, means so much to so many people."
More than 1,000 people have offered their support to her online petition in just a matter of days.
"For many people, they've gone with their parents and with their children, and they've carried on the tradition."
But Linda Frank, a field unit superintendent with Parks Canada, didn't offer much hope that the cutbacks could be reversed.
Speaking on CBC Radio's Information Morning, she said Parks Canada had to make a choice.
"Parks Canada is hoping to reduce the federal deficit by focusing its efforts and its investments on the peak season," she said.
She acknowledged there has been strong reaction from the public about the cuts.
"I think it's a situation where, certainly at this level, we would be following the federal deficit program that has been outlined, and if there was any changes to that we would follow that."
Despite that, Perrier said she's hopeful more people will add their names to the online petition. She plans on mailing it to the federal government in November.