Buyer negotiating for Buffalo Land park
Entrance fee possible under private ownership
The P.E.I. government is in negotiations with someone interested in taking Buffalo Land Provincial Park off its hands.
The government announced in the spring it was looking to get rid of the park. It consists of 40 hectares of land and 25 animals from a herd that was a gift from the province of Alberta in 1973. This week the province announced an interested party had come forward looking to buy the park.
Tourism Minister Rob Henderson said the government is looking for someone to take over the full operating costs, somewhere between $11,000 and $40,000 a year.
"That's the negotiating strategy that our department has had," said Henderson.
"This particular group in principle is saying that that's the goal that they are trying to achieve."
Opposition critic James Aylward said there are too many unanswered questions about the purchase. He wants the government to stop negotiating in the dark.
"Was it going to be open to the public, was it going to be a fee for entering the park?" asked Aylward.
"We couldn't find those details out."
Henderson expects the park would stay open, but he said a charge for park admission would be up to the buyer.
"It's not necessarily our goal and objective that we would stipulate to another organization that it would be free," he said.
Since the spring announcement a group, Save our Buffalo, has come together to save the park. Group member Jonathan Tsamantanis said he wants to see the park run by locals.
"In the end, I hope the community would be recognized as the best possible leaders to take care of this park," said Tsamantanis.
Henderson said if this deal falls through, another interested party is ready to begin negotiations.