Hours of operations will be reduced and sites will be closed longer during the shoulder season as a result of job cuts falling on 14 Parks Canada staff in Revelstoke, said Superintendent Karen Tierney.
Six Parks’ employees were laid off and eight more will have their hours reduced as part of the Harper government’s 2012 Economic Action Plan.
In Revelstoke, the changes in staffing will mean many sites will be closed during the fall and spring and hours of operations will be reduced at most sites.
“It’s about ensuring we’re aligning our operations to our visitor seasons,” said Karen Tierney, the superintendent of Mt. Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks.
She said the impacts were not significant, but include the following:
– The Meadows in the Sky Parkway will continue to open as the snow recedes up the mountain, but it will now close at Thanksgiving – three weeks earlier than usual. As well, the road will close at 7 p.m. daily, though visitors will be able to exit the park after that time.
– There will be no more winter operations in Mt. Revelstoke National Park. That means no more track setting and the ski chalet will be closed. Tierney said Parks will look at third party operation of those services. A track will still be set for the Moonlight Ski, she added.
– The Giant Cedars Boardwalk will be staffed from June to late-September, but will not be staffed until Thanksgiving and then close on that date.
– The Rogers Pass Discover Centre will be open from Victoria Day weekend to Thanksgiving and from December through April for the winter season. The centre will close one hour earlier during the winter but summer hours will be unchanged.
– The Illecillewaet campground will open when the snow is gone and close at the end of September.
– There will no impact to highway operations, the avalanche program and visitor safety operations.
Additionally, an e-mail sent out to Parks Canada stakeholders that was provided to the Times Review after our conversation with Tierney stated: “Science, monitoring, and reporting expectations will be focused on key indicators required for management decision making and all functions will be aligned with seasonal requirements.”
The Times Review left a message asking for clarification on what that means.
“All functions in our organization have been impacted in one way or another,” said Tierney. “All staff are impacted in some way because the Parks Canada family is a very passionate and dedicated group of staff who work very closely together.”
She said Parks Canada was working to ensure it continued to protect Canada’s natural and historical resources, as well as services to visitors and partners.
“That is our mandate so we will continue to ensure that happens,” she said. “It will just be different in how and to what degree.”