Rideau Canal and Budget 2013 – an update
Funding cuts for the operation of the Rideau Canal were announced by Parks Canada in 2012. But the Rideau canal is a crucial piece of infrastructure for the Eastern Ontario tourism economy. Following an outcry, the cutbacks were scaled back and only the operating hours were cut, not the length of the season. Later in the year, Parks Canada proposed stiff hikes in user fees. These too provoked a sharp outcry and were withdrawn.
What’s the latest?
In the federal government’s Budget 2013, chapter 3.3, there is a vague mention of spending on “investments in other federal infrastructure assets”. Let’s hope all the noise we have been making results in a permanent commitment to supporting the Rideau Canal and the local economy that depends on it.
Finally, I have to give credit to Leeds-Grenville MP Gord Brown, who has been working on this issue.
Update: May 14, 2013
The government has decided to freeze fees on the Rideau Canal at 2008 levels for three years.
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