Government Moves to Expand and Promote Access to Provincial Parks
Ontario’s Government for the People is taking action on its commitment to ensure Ontario Parks has the tools it needs to conduct its business and create a world-class parks experience, by appointing Dave Smith, MPP Peterborough-Kawartha as a Special Advisor for Ontario Parks.
MPP Smith will provide strategic advice to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, Rod Phillips, on how to improve programs and increase revenue opportunities of Ontario Parks. His work will support the target outlined in the made-in-Ontario environment plan of increasing the number of Ontarians visiting provincial parks by 10 per cent or approximately one million more visitors while protecting the natural environment.
“Our government wants to make it easier for more Ontario families to enjoy our provincial parks,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “MPP Smith brings a unique perspective through his expertise in business management and program development, as well as being an active member of the Peterborough community. I look forward to working with MPP Smith on exploring the effectiveness of our Ontario Parks program to expand access to parks and recreational activities across the province.”
“Provincial parks belong to the people of Ontario and to visitors, for their inspiration, education, health and recreation,” said Dave Smith, MPP for Peterborough-Kawartha. “I look forward to working with staff to ensure that our parks remain a vital contributor to Ontario’s economy, and continue to make Ontario a ‘must visit’ tourist destination.”
Promoting parks and increasing recreational opportunities is part of the government’s made-in-Ontario environment plan to protect our air, land and water, prevent and reduce litter and waste, support Ontarians to continue to do their share to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help communities and families increase their resilience to climate change. The plan will help protect the Ontario we know and love, ensuring that its pristine beauties and strong communities can be enjoyed now and in the future.
- Ontario manages and protects 340 provincial parks and 295 conservation reserves, totalling 9.8 million hectares or nine per cent of the province – an area larger than the entire province of New Brunswick.
- The Special Advisor for Ontario Parks will not be remunerated, but will be reimbursed for eligible expenses incurred in accordance with the government’s Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Directive.
- Visit the Ontario Parks website for information on programs, reservations, day-use and seasonal passes.