Everyone knew it was just a matter of time before those budget cuts called for by the federal finance minister in the spring would trickle down to our little corner of the country, specifically Gros Morne National Park.
Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse will see its hours cut in the so-called shoulder months (May and October) and the Broom Point Fishing Exhibit will see a three-week reduction in services.
To the average person these might not seem like much in the grand scheme. But it’s something to watch because it shows that our parks, much like other services are on the feds’ radar, and therefore on the chopping block. It starts off as a trickle; then floodgates could be opened.
Good on the park staff for saying they’ll continuing the best service they can, but does anyone doubt that there will be more cuts? That park brought in more than 180,000 visitors according to the last visitor survey, translating into millions of dollars in tourism revenue for the province. This begs the question; why hasn’t the province started asking questions about how these cuts are affecting its coffers?
It would seem that a provincial facility being run by a federal department that offers local jobs and revenue would concern the premier’s office when it’s being cut. But we haven’t heard anything from the province.
We’ve reached a point where we’ve been cut so much that we just accept it. We need to start speaking up, which includes getting a message to all our politicians, locally and federally. Service workers, Employment Insurance, and now federal parks. It has to stop.