Editorial: Campsite fees not worth the gripe

Campsite fees are going up between $2 and $5 at provincial parks around B.C. this spring

Campsite fees are going up between $2 and $5 at provincial parks around B.C. this spring.

After March 15, a night under the stars at Goldstream Provincial Park goes from $30 to $35 per night, while many more remote campsites will see a smaller increase in fees.

Fees at 40 provincial campgrounds in the Kootenay-Okanagan, Northern, South Coast and West Coast regions are increasing at least $3 a night, and 141 of B.C.’s 204 provincial campgrounds will see a $2 increase.

The Ministry of Environment says this is the first province-wide increase in fees since 2010, and let’s be honest: it is a nominal fee.

So when B.C. NDP house leader Mike Farnworth grouped those fees into a criticism of the B.C. Liberal “hidden tax” agenda last week, it played a bit flat.

“You’re going to see higher Medical Services Plan premiums, higher ICBC rates, we’re already seeing higher fees for camping,” Farnworth said in response to the Liberals’ assertion that they’ll have a surplus larger than the $444 million forecast in November when they present the annual budget on Feb. 17.

The province collected about $17 million from its park and recreation fees last year, while spending $22 million on direct park operating costs.

Campsite use is on the rise in B.C. since the introduction of an online reservation service called Discover Camping, and the system handled 133,000 reservations last year, nearly a 10 per cent increase over 2013.

The opposition is right to call out the government for pocketing extra cash through medical premiums and higher ICBC rates while it trumpets fiscal prudence. But wrapping $2 camping fees into a criticism of government finance policy is just lame. No one is going to break the bank on camping this summer because of a small increase, and if those nominal fees mean a better and well-maintained camping system across B.C. for the next generation, you can rest assured most people will be willing to throw in the extra toonie or $5 bill.

 

Just Posted

Saanich Braves Pink In The Rink raises more than $22,000 for end-of-life care

Braves have raised $91, 318 for the Victoria Hospice since 2015

Langford bike shop sells first bamboo bike on Vancouver Island

The bamboo frame has been tested in Germany, Taiwan, and Australia

Mainly sunny skies ahead for Wednesday

Plus a look ahead at the weekend’s forecast

Garden suites coming soon to Saanich

Work is underway to legalize purpose-built detached garden suite rentals

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

POLL: Are you satisfied with the result of the federal election?

The ballots have now been counted and the dust has settled on… Continue reading

Horvat’s hat trick lifts Canucks to 5-2 win over Red Wings

First career three-goal game for Vancouver captain

Runners brave wet, windy weather for Ucluelet’s 20th Edge to Edge

“The spirit of the runners I have nothing but compliments.”

Feds finally decriminalizing drugs possible – but it’s up to Jagmeet Singh, expert says

National pharmacare was one of Singh’s most highly-touted platform policies

Estheticians can’t be forced to wax male genitals, B.C. tribunal rules

Langley transgender woman Jessica Yaniv was ordered to pay three salon owners $2,000 each

Two youth arrested in UBC carjacking at gunpoint, after being spotted in stolen Kia

‘A great deal of credit is due the alert person who called us,’ said North Vancouver Sgt. Peter DeVries

Open house for Royal Beach tonight

The third open house to gather public input on Royal Beach takes… Continue reading

People’s Party of Canada’s anti-immigration views ‘didn’t resonate’ with voters: prof

Party was formed on anti-immigration, climate denying views in 2018

Most Read