Parking charges gone from B.C. parks

Golden Ears Park in the Lower Mainland is one of the provincial parks where parking fees have been removed.

Parking fees have been lifted from 41 provincial parks around B.C., and the provincial government will make up the $650,000 annual revenue in the environment ministry budget.

Premier Christy Clark and Environment Minister Terry Lake made the announcement Tuesday at Mt. Seymour Provincial Park in North Vancouver, to mark the 100th anniversary of the B.C. parks system.

The parking fees have been unpopular since they were introduced in the first term of the B.C. Liberal government. The environment ministry says they brought in about $1 million a year, of which $350,000 went to general revenue with the rest going to fund park upkeep.

Lake also announced a $500,000 community legacy fund that will accept applications from communities to make improvements to their local park. Up to $20,000 will be provided to selected projects for trail upgrades and other park improvements.

NDP environment critic Rob Fleming said the removal of parking fees is long overdue, since total visits to B.C. parks have declined nearly 15 per cent over the past decade.

Fleming called the legacy fund “a drop in the bucket” compared to a $10 million reduction in the budget for operating and maintaining parks. There are only 10 full-time park rangers left in the province, and volunteer organizations are getting burned out from doing trail work that is no longer funded by the province, he said.

Only the higher-traffic southern locations in B.C.’s system of 1,000 parks had the ticket machines, which charged up to $5 to park a vehicle for the day.

In the Lower Mainland, parking fees were in force at Alice Lake, Brandywine Falls, Coquihalla Canyon, Cultus Lake, Cypress Bowl, Garibaldi, Golden Ears, Murrin, Porpoise Bay, Porteau Cove, Rolley Lake, Sasquatch and Shannon Falls Provincial Parks.

Okanagan parks where fees applied until Tuesday are Bear Creek, Manning, Ellison, Kalamalka, Kekuli Bay, Mabel Lake, Mara Lake, Okanagan Lake and Sunoka.

In the Thompson region, fees were charged at Herald, Lac Le Jeune, Paul Lake and Shuswap Lake.

On Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands, parking machines were in place at Bamberton, Englishman River Falls, French Beach, Goldstream, Gordon Bay, Juan de Fuca, Little Qualicum Falls, Miracle Beach, Montague Harbour, Rathtrevor, Ruckle, Sooke Potholes and Sproat Lake.

Just Posted

Hay bales and high fives for Port Alberni soapbox derby

New track on Lower Argyle Street gets a thumbs up

Brush fire breaks out near Taylor Arm Park

Fire forces partial closure of Highway 4 west of Port Alberni

Rosalind Chapman seeks seat on Port Alberni city council

Community volunteer and longtime Alberni Valley resident Rosalind Chapman will seek a… Continue reading

Accident causes power outage on Beaver Creek Road

One sent to West Coast General Hospital in crash

Inside the music: step behind the curtain at the venerable Vancouver Island Music Festival

Big Read: VIMF in the Comox Valley exemplifies the spirit of an Island summer music festival

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Police confirm girl, 8 others injured in Toronto shooting; shooter dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Most Read