January 15, 2013

Parks Canada determined to kill the Rideau Canal

New Fees proposed for Federal Canals is from my other blog "Boating in Canada News".

Update May 2013: Canal fees have been frozen for 3 years, giving the government lots of time to come up with a new governance model that can keep the heritage canals functioning without destroying the economic regions that have grown up around them.  Boating in Canada News

After shortened canal hours for this year, Parks Canada now propose to triple lock and dockage fees over this year and next. They must think tripling national park fees would cause too much noise so they pick on canals and the
World Heritage Site, in particular.


Would you stop at a lockstation in your fishing boat if tying up for lunch cost $20? What 30-footer would pay $1080 to cruise the Rideau canal round trip? Would that boater pay $60 to dock overnight  - they throw in toilets and a picnic table for that. I predict that in 2014, 75% of the boats will decide not to cruise the Rideau Canal. That results in less income for the canal, not more. What were they thinking?

The economic fallout all along the waterway will be serious. And without boats locking, there will be nothing for tourist to see. The Rideau Waterway will no longer be a "working" canal, and will definitely lose its status as a World Heritage Site. At that point Parks Canada will justify laying off canal staff and their office staff who manage heritage canals.

Once the canal and the spiderweb of tourism and business is destroyed, there will be no way to restore it.

Email your objections with reasons to droits2013.2013fees@pc.gc.ca by February, 2013.

Parks Canada: User Fees Proposal - Public Consultation
Ottawa Citizen editorial: Sinking canal usage
Ottawa Citizen: Rideau Canal structure would almost triple fees
Facebook page: Save the Rideau and St. Lawrence
"Boating in Canada News"