Saturday, December 13, 2008

Does this make any sense to you?

Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Christine Tell says her government raised fees in Saskatchewan parks by $1.25 million. In this video she explains that if prices are low, people won't think it's worth going(?!).

and the Leader-Post have more, including the biting irony that the Sask Party, which campaigned on eliminating the NDP's "weiner roast tax" has now implemented measures that will cost campers more than three times as much. It's a good idea to have user fees reflect real costs, but the "psychological" argument truly falls short.

The daily camping fee is going up by $2 a night, while the cost of some seasonal campsites will increase from $830 to $1,500. The previous cost for those seasonal sites was “far below market value,” Tell said.

“The indications that we had in talking with people was the fact that we’re under-valuing our parks from a financial standpoint,” Tell told reporters.

Other changes include a doubling of the fee for the site reservation service from $5 to $10 and a new $7 charge to campers who change their reservation.

“We’re charging for the time that is required for our parks people to manage the system,” she said.

The changes follow the government’s elimination earlier this year of the $3-a-day “wiener roast tax," which was introduced under the previous NDP administration and frequently blasted as a bad idea by the Saskatchewan Party.

But Tell said the fee increases now being introduced by her government aren't the same.

“We have to remember that the cost of running a provincial park has increased,” said Tell.

She said Saskatchewan still has among the lowest camping fees in the country, and noted the government has also made investments to improve facilities.

Other increases include the trailer storage fee increase from $85 to $150, and a doubling of hall rental fees.

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