As the weather warms up and many aspects of Manitoba’s economy are reopening, Manitobans are eager to spend time outside.
While, Manitoba Parks have been welcoming visitors since the beginning of May, Riding Mountain National Park remains closed to visitors until June 1, 2020. Additionally, all boating in the park – including canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding – is prohibited until June 12, 2020 and overnight camping is not permitted until at least June 21, 2020.
Dan Mazier, MP for Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa and I wrote the Minister of Environment and Climate Change calling on Parks Canada to align the reopening of Riding Mountain National Park with that of Manitoba Parks.
As Manitoba Parks have been open for several weeks, I am asking the federal government to collaborate with Manitoba Public Health to safely reopen Riding Mountain National Park for watercraft use and overnight camping.
It would only seem reasonable that if Manitoba Parks can safely welcome visitors to dozens of parks across the province for camping and boating, then Riding Mountain National Park can do the same.
Over the course of the pandemic, I have heard from many small businesses in Riding Mountain National Park about the struggles they are enduring.
I am calling on Parks Canada to implement measures to support business owners in the park who are ineligible for many of the government’s pandemic response programs.
MP Mazier and I have proposed solutions including temporarily suspending land rents and making accommodations for Parks Canada utility charges that would help businesses get through the season.
I believe the government can implement common-sense measures with the proper planning, safeguards, and advice from public health officials to reopen Riding Mountain National Park.