Minister Christine Tell explained the case for higher camp fees much better the second time around. It actually makes sense and lowers taxpayer subsidies to keep parks going.
She [Tell] said Monday that she had done a poor job of explaining what the government is doing.The Sask Party, which complained vehemently about the $3 firewood fee introduced by the NDP in 2004, still hasn't changed its tune. Unfortunately, Premier Wall is still calling it "the wiener roast tax." This was a user fee, not a tax. If it was a tax in the truest sense, the Sask Party's moves would be three times worse. That's why the Opposition NDP is returning the favour and calling the new fees, "the unhappy camper tax."
"I don't think for one minute that it stopped people from coming," she said of the old fees.
The aim with the fee increases is to "rebalance" the percentage that government pays for the parks, versus the park users.
"The traditional percentage is 60 per cent user pay and 40 per cent government. We are not -- even with the increases in the camping rates -- we are not even there at the 60 per cent user, 40 per cent government," Tell said, adding the user portion will be 56 per cent.