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

Influx of funding means new projects, upgrades coming to Bella Coola and Central Coast

The Central Coast Regional District confirmed it will be receiving just over $6 million in funding

Three percent accommodation tax approved for Bella Coola accommodation providers

Only fixed-room accommodation providers with four rooms or more are required to charge the tax.

U.S. consulate general to visit Northwest

Trip part of the region’s first-ever pop-up consul for American residents

B.C.’s north heats up to record highs

Bella Bella, Masset, Prince Rupert and the Cassiar Area all broke records

Sealed DNA in Phillip Tallio murder case must be released, orders Judge

A unanimous decision by B.C. Court of Appeal judges has ordered the release of a sealed DNA sample

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Heavy ice off Canada coast strands pod of dolphins, fixating small town

The small Newfoundland community, Heart’s Delight, is fixated on plight of trapped dolphins

Foreign election interference a reality, says Trudeau after Putin re-election

Trudeau said the heavy use of social media and interference by foreign actors are the new reality in elections.

Canadians joining #DeleteFacebook amid fears of electoral meddling

Privacy experts say numerous Canadians are taking to other social media platforms to join in on the #DeleteFacebook hashtag

Schools close as spring snow storm tracks toward Maritime provinces

Schools are closing across the Maritime provinces as a spring snow storm tracks towards the region.

Son of late Canadian professor fights for mother’s release from Iran

Mehran Seyed-Emami’s father, an Iranian-Canadian professor, died in an Iranian jail after being accused of spying.

Deadly crash raises questions about Uber self-driving system

The fatality prompted Uber to suspend all road-testing of such autos in the Phoenix area, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto

Better pre-hospital care in rural B.C. could save lives AND money

The yearly cost of injury exceeds $2.8 billion according to Provincial Health Services Authority.

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Most Read