Parks Canada has announced that recreational lockage fees along Canada's historic canals will remain frozen for the next three years at 2008 rates. Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, made the announcement.
"Since the beginning of our consultation process on canal fees, we have been committed to listening and acting in the best interests of the residents who live, work and visit our canals,' said Kent. "We recognize the importance of canals to Canada's heritage, the tourism industry and the thousands of people who use them each year. That is why following consultations with Government Members of Caucus who live along the canals, I am pleased to announce that Parks Canada will freeze lockage fees for three years.'
Parks Canada says it also plans to work with stakeholders to identify long-term sustainability solutions for the historic canals. "During this time, Parks Canada and I will work with local Members of Parliament, community leaders and the tourism industry to develop and implement an improved operating model to ensure the long term financial sustainability of the canals operations,' added Kent. "These long-term solutions will need to address all aspects of the canals operations.'
As part of the long-term financial sustainability of the canals operations, Parks Canada is considering new visitor opportunities that will benefit a broad range of canals users, and create new sources of revenue, all while maintaining support for our tourism operators and industry.
Boating Ontario's Executive Director, Al Donaldson, shared the announcement with members of the association, which includes numerous marinas along the Trent-Severn Waterway and Rideau Canal. "We look forward to working with the government and Parks Canada to ensure that adequate service levels remain intact and to help create a viable long-term plan for these historical Ontario canals,' said Donaldson.