Wild Spaces – At Risk?

by Laureen on May 2, 2012

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My small community is in mourning. The Canadian government has decided it somehow makes sense to reduce its deficit by reducing employment in Canada. One of the federal agencies whose staff is being cut is Parks Canada. Grasslands National Park, Val Marie’s main employer, has four staff affected. This might not seem like much in a city, but it wasn’t a very big staff to start with, and Val Marie’s population is about 100 people. Losing four jobs is a major blow to a small town in the middle of nowhere.

There’s more. All the affected jobs are senior positions in the areas of resource conservation and public information. The people who have held them are experts in their fields. It’s their expertise that makes sure places like Grasslands National Park survive. Without this expertise, will Grasslands National Park still exist in generations to come?

This scenario has been repeated this week across the Canadian national parks system. Over 1000 people have been told their jobs are at risk; more than 600 positions have been eliminated entirely. Conservation specialists, public information specialists, site specialists, interpretive specialists, visitor services specialists. This week Parks Canada took the biggest hit of any federal agency.

Will Canada’s great preserved wildernesses one day still be there at all ?



Kitty Kilian May 4, 2012 at 12:31 am

Hey Laureen,

My Canadian online friends are all deeply unhappy with their government! I am so sorry. Elections or a revolution are called for, right?

Neil Campbell May 4, 2012 at 3:07 am

Don’t give up too quickly. It may be that an argument can be made that will resonate with decision makers. Place is important to a strand of conservatism. You have a unique place, you have a story that that might capture the imagination of voters far from Val Marie. Find a way to get them to understand what is at risk and to care.

lois May 4, 2012 at 9:47 am

this is outrageously sad, disturbing, frightening…how much damage will be done before we stop them..the thrashing of the dying monster..I know how important these parks are and the work that is being done by those who are being sent packing..its tragic..I feel it in my own heart..taking my country apart piece by piece

lois May 4, 2012 at 9:53 am

I like Neil’s comments ..we need to make much noise about this

Melissa Dinwiddie May 4, 2012 at 12:15 pm

This breaks my heart, Laureen. Thank you for sharing it — these stories need to be told! That’s the only way we can change the outcome.

Kelly May 5, 2012 at 3:38 am

The elected representives dismantel the fabric of our existance.

Greg Hooper May 5, 2012 at 11:26 am

But they said they were going to *create* jobs? Didn’t they? Seriously, we need to get together and vote for people who will represent us in Ottawa. Not people that represent big churches and big corporations.

Wenda McArthur May 5, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I’m so sorry to hear about the job cuts. Our national parks are a treasure, and we should be doing even more with them, not less. (And we should not be privatizing anything to do with them). I am sorry for the people who are losing their jobs everywhere, thinking especially of Grasslands Park staff, sorry for the residents of Val Marie, and sorry for the public who enjoy all the national parks. Could we please have a federal election tomorrow so that we can get rid of these Conservatives?

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