Camping will no longer be permitted at 10 little-used provincial parks and 130 full-time and seasonal jobs will be chopped as the Ministry of Natural Resources takes steps to cut $7.1 million a year.
The measures — including an end to mail notifications for hunters and anglers whose Outdoor Cards are about to expire — come as the province grapples with a $14.8-billion deficit.
Natural Resources Minister Michael Gravelle said the 10 parks in question, in northern Ontario such as The Shoals near Chapleau, have low visitation rates and will be open to the public for day use only.
“The decisions we’re making are necessary to modernize our business, make the ministry sustainable and help the government balance the budget,” Gravelle, who represents the riding of Thunder Bay-Superior North, said in a statement Thursday.
Job cuts involve 28 full-time staff and 102 seasonal positions across the ministry, such as an end to the overnight Ontario Ranger Program that is being replaced with a day youth employment program.
Aside from saving $7.1 million a year on the ministry’s operations, the changes will eliminate the need for $12.3 million in capital spending.
The 10 parks include Caliper Lake (Nestor Falls), Fushimi Lake (Hearst), Greenwater (Cochrane), Ivanhoe Lake (Foleyet), Mississagi (Elliot Lake), Obatanga (between Wawa and White River), Rene Brunelle (Kapuskasing), Springwater (Midhurst) and Tidewater (Moosonee).