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Saskatchewan News

Parks Canada hit by federal job cuts

Saskatchewan's national parks and historic sites will suffer, says a representative of the Union of National Employees
Reported by Brent Bosker
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There will be some significant changes to service at Saskatchewan's six national parks and historic sites this summer.

A total of 32 positions across the province are being impacted by the recent public service cuts announced on Monday by the federal government.

A spokesman for Parks Canada union staff said 21 positions will be cut all together, through layoffs or retirement. The remaining 11 positions were given effected notices —meaning their jobs may change.

A spokeswoman for Prince Albert National Park, which is losing five positions, said restructuring will take place at the park and service will be impacted, however she couldn’t say to what extent.

Omar Murray, regional vice president for the Union of National Employees said the parks’ operating seasons will be drastically impacted by the cuts.

“It’s definitely going to make it shorter and we’re going to have less people there, so you’re definitely going to get less service and that is a shame.”

“I do know that Battleford National Historic site and Motherwell … are going to go to self –guided, which means there not going to have a guide there at all.”

“We’re not going to have the opportunity to make people proud of … Saskatchewan and the contributions we have made in Canada, added Murray, who is seeing his own position scaled back as a guide at Fort Walsh Historic Site.

Murray revealed that all site and maintenance managers will lose their jobs, as well as some clerical staff or book keepers.

Provincial Breakdown of job cuts:

• Prince Albert National Park: 5 staff
• Grasslands National Park: 4 staff
• Fort Battleford National Historic Site: 3 staff
• Batoche National Historic Site: 2 staff
• Fort Walsh National Historic Site: 2 staff
• Motherwell National Historic Site: 2 staff
• Field Unit manager in Saskatoon