News / Vancouver

B.C. Premier pledges $23 million for new campsites

The British Columbia government will create nearly 2,000 new campsites throughout the province in response to residents’ reservations woes.

Premier Christy Clark chats with two rangers during a press conference at Mount Seymour Provincial Park in North Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016.

Courtesy/BC Gov Photos

Premier Christy Clark chats with two rangers during a press conference at Mount Seymour Provincial Park in North Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016.

Securing a campsite in British Columbia may not be such a wild experience next year.

Following a contentious summer that saw campsite reservations became a hot-button political issue, Premier Christy Clark announced Monday $23 million in funding for a new BC Parks Future Strategy, which includes the creation of more than 1,900 new campsites.

Clark hopes the plan will help alleviate the frustrations felt by many who were unable to reserve a site last summer for their families.

The increased supply should also cut down on abuse of the system.

One of the stories that thrust campsites into the political realm involved scalpers booking up the limited number of sites available and auctioning them off to the highest bidders.

Legislative changes were made to cut down on the practice, but the lack of campsites and rising cost of camping remain issues for families.

“In the last year, we had a terrible problem of people not being able to make reservations of their own campsites in their own province,” said Clark. “We want to try to address that by adding more campsites. So we want to start with the high demand areas, which is where we will begin. It’s about making sure that British Columbians have more ways to experience nature.”

The funding is spread over five years, and is in addition to the $15 million the province has previously announced for maintaining and refurbishing campsites and backcountry recreation areas.

To raise more money for parks, the province is also putting up $5 million to create a BC Parks Foundation, which will allow people to make private-sector donations, and new licence plates dedicated to BC Parks that will go on sale soon.

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