Christy Clark not taking credit for B.C. Parks camping fees going up

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      Remember when Premier Christy Clark declared parking free in all of B.C.'s provincial parks? In a 2011 news release, Clark said the move would make "British Columbia’s parks are even more welcoming for families".

      Fast-forward to today (January 22), and the premier's name is nowhere to be found in the Ministry of Environment's latest news release. The headline: "Fee changes to support increased investment in BC Parks".

      That's right. The province is raising camping fees by up to $5 per night, as of March 15. The fee hikes vary by site, but the increase for the "vast majority" is $2 per night.

      According to the ministry, the last system-wide camping fee increase took place in 2010. The release claims the fee hikes are necessary to "maintain high service levels in B.C. provincial parks for an increasing number of visitors".

      "The increase is expected to generate $1.3 million this year for B.C.'s protected areas system. All revenue from the increased fees will be put back into maintaining and enhancing the parks system," the release states.

      "There are no increases to fees for sani-stations, mooring buoys, backcountry camping, picnic shelters, or group camping."

      Here's how much camping will cost at a few popular frontcountry campgrounds:

      • Alice Lake Provincial Park: $35 per party per night
      • Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park: $35 per party per night
      • Cultus Lake Provincial Park: $22 per party per night
      • E.C. Manning Provincial Park (Lightning Lakes): $33 per party per night
      • Golden Ears Provincial Park (Alouette Lake and Gold Creek): $35 per party per night

      The complete list of updated fees is available as a PDF.

      B.C. has 1,029 provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves, and protected areas, covering more than 14 million hectares (14.4 percent of the province's land base).




      Jan 22, 2015 at 3:33pm

      Better hope the dollar stays low and tourists are plenty...!

      The average family can no longer afford to camp.

      Cariboo Dan

      Jan 22, 2015 at 4:00pm

      Drive up to Pemberton. Turn south on the east-side road down Lillooet Lake and continue south to Lower Lillooet Lake. That's a beautiful spot and be respectful. The Mount Currie band will send a canoe to make sure things are cool.

      There's lots of free campsites in BC, albeit without power, water or outhouses.

      James Blatchford

      Jan 22, 2015 at 7:03pm

      Nice gesture with BC's Family Day just around the corner...cha-ching!


      Jan 23, 2015 at 5:27am

      I remember when it was first come, first served. Then they introduced this system that privileges credit card holders over everyone else. I suspect most of the "fees" will go into maintaining the computer system, paying employees to use it. I remember when the "technology" in a park was some nice old family in an RV that collected fees in exchange for free camping all summer. I sure am glad that we're "world class" now, and our parks are hotels for the super rich, instead of a chance to live how our ancestors did in BC: by right of occupation.

      John Coburn

      Jan 23, 2015 at 7:35am

      Leave the expensive Provincial campgrounds to the tourists. Bring in some outside cash. For the locals, there are books available which will show remote sites that are accessible by car. Also, many municipalities have less expensive sites. And lets not forget the private enterprisers. They are everywhere. For starters, Midway, BC population 650, Frank Carpenter Memorial Park has camping on the river, and just a few blocks away, Midway RV park has full hookups.

      L Leeman

      Jan 24, 2015 at 1:11am

      Recently camped at Porteau Cove, a Provincial Park, ..on the way to Squamish.
      Bathrooms all locked up as they are every winter so only outhouse and no showers.

      Sani station to dump your 'organic' waste. not operating. Five bucks when it does.
      Water... WATER!!... available at only 1 tap.

      This ain't condo camping folks.

      Cost per night per camping party , winter rates only ... $24.00 ...
      firewood.. 2 bundles x $8.00 per bundle

      So..we camped one night for $40.00 in off season. Oh yea and if a second car shows up... like you decide to meet a friend up there... it's another $12. bucks per night.

      At $40. x 30 nights... that's $1200 per month for a parking space with minimal garbage removal included.

      Summer rates? $38.00 per night + ($8.00 x 2 bundles) = $54.00 per night. BUT>.. the bathroom is open.

      54 per night x 30 nights per month = $ 1620 per month in summer.
      DOes this REALLY sound right Christy?

      Beautiful BC my ass.

      Craig the Squamish campground owner

      Jan 28, 2015 at 11:37am

      When you go to a provincial park you get paved roads, picnic tables, potable water, security, playgrounds and in some cases on site entertainment for kids. My camp is next to Alice Lake camp. However my property taxes are 18% of my yearly revenue. Alice Lake doesn't pay taxes. And they employ about 20 staff in the summer. I have to run my camp with my wife and we work 120hours a week with no days off for three months. BC Parks provide a huge value for the money and I can't even come close to competing with them. At least now they are within $7-15 of my rates. I struggle to provide the level of maintenance that Alice Lake does. AT Alice Lake if something breaks, they fix it. We have to budget and fix it next year. So don't be so quick to point the finger at the Libs for being anti-family because Alice Lake was making it hard for my family to operate.We have to rely on them being sold out before we get busy. How would you feel if the business next door that you fund with tax dollars was undercutting you by half?