Letter from Ministry of Environment: No preference given for campsites

MLA Andrew Weaver knowingly perpetuates misinformation about travel companies, says Minister Mary Polak

Re: Andrew Weaver’s July 12th column in the Saanich News

In his column, MLA Andrew Weaver knowingly perpetuates misinformation about travel companies, which I would like to correct for your readers.

Commercial operators including tour companies make less than one percent of the bookings on the Discover B.C. camping reservation system. For the most part these companies book short stays of two days or less, with the majority occurring Sunday through Thursday. These bookings are also often in more remote areas of the province where demand for campsites is not a challenge.

The vast majority of people camping in our provincial parks are from British Columbia. Roughly three-quarters of all reservations are made by British Columbians.

Everyone is given access to the reservable campsite inventory at the same time. No one, including commercial operators, is given preferential treatment to reserve campsites and the system does not allow block campsite reservations.

I certainly understand the frustration people feel when they’re unable to secure a campsite in the more popular parks. We’re committed to increasing the number of campsites, and as well we always look at the reservation system to ensure it is fair for all.

And while I agree with Mr. Weaver that a broader conversation with British Columbians about our parks should and will happen, it is important that conversation be based on facts.

I encourage you to visit  ow.ly/2T8830240Jv for the facts on our camping reservation system.

Mary PolakMinister of Environment