Mr. Speaker, everyone remembers back in the 1990s when the federal Liberals cut the budget to Parks Canada. Ten years later, Banff National Park is facing a backlog of repairs for its decaying facilities.
In a recent federal government audit only 3% of Banff's facilities were considered to be in good condition. The rest were rated fair or poor.
To counter this problem, Parks Canada decided to implement a second fee increase in the last six months for those entering Banff with more fee increases to come. The Liberals feel that fee increases are the best way to clean up their mess. What they do not realize is the collection of park fees is a pittance of what is needed to maintain a world-class tourist destination.
The people who use the park, particularly our seniors, are being punished for the Liberals' lack of planning. Small business owners are telling me that people will not stop in Banff anymore simply because it costs too much.
In order for Banff to stay competitive, the Liberals should not be creating a disincentive for visitors.
It is time the government realized the park is for Canadian people to enjoy, not to be maintained by a never-ending range of service fees and charges.