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Cuts to Tourism and Parks Represent a Major Step Backwards

Province-wide – The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU) is upset with the recently announced plans by the McNeil government to close two Visitor Information Centres (VICs) in Pictou and Digby, and to switch seven campgrounds to so-called “self service” registration arrangements.

“In our view, these cuts unfairly target rural communities in Oakfield, Porters Lake, Digby, Pictou, Shelburne, Windsor, Guysborough, Country Harbour, and Whycocomagh. These jobs provide important seasonal employment that makes a difference to those communities, families, and local businesses. These cuts mean the loss of 58 seasonal staff positions: 38 from the parks and 20 from the Digby and Pictou VICs.

Front line staff at parks and VICs provide important services that include convincing visitors to try new things and extend their stay in our province – word of mouth information and experience that cannot be replaced by machines or the internet.

“Nova Scotians are known for our friendliness and hospitality,” says Jessome. “Does the government really want to take the people out of the visitor experience and say to the rest of the world, “just google it?”

Jessome wants the government to reconsider these decisions and their devastating impacts.  “These are seasonal jobs where employees not only lose their income but will also not qualify for EI,” she says. “We fear the impact of these job cuts on affected individuals, their families, and the economy of their local community will be irreversible.”

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The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union represents over 30,000 women and men who provide quality public services Nova Scotians count on every day.

For more information, or to arrange an interview with NSGEU President Joan Jessome, please contact: Deedee Slye, NSGEU Communications Officer

902-424.4063 (office) 902-497-6761 (cell) dslye@nsgeu.ca

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One Response to Cuts to Tourism and Parks Represent a Major Step Backwards

  1. Jean McKenna March 4, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

    I agree; not only are jobs lost, but good contact for visitors to NS. I am in Porters Lake Park almost every day, winter and summer. It is a wonderful asset, close to the city that people can camp, and visit the city without the cost of a downtown hotel. The lake is brackish, therefore no leaches, but clean, clear, warm swimming. A boat launch, canoe and kayak opportunities. A short drive to an internationally loved surf beach.The gov’t in the past has neglected the entrance, and the picnic area (5 beaten up tables where there is room for 40+ private waterfront sites); signage at entrance overgrown and unkempt, alders taking over. A lot of Juan blowdown untouched. The park headquarters finally got painted – halfway up the building. Didn’t have a ladder I guess. I have talked to staff in the park, who suggested that they could stay on for a while after the park was closed, and work to improve it.Seems to me that if you have a great asset that isn’t producing the way it should, you work harder to make it better, not a difficult task. LOVE the NSGEU poster!

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