Parks Canada has taken a big hit in the recent federal budget. There will be impacts on the North and on the overall tourist experience.
Federal cost cutting will result in a $29 M cut in 2014, meaning 600 jobs across Canada will be affected. Of these, 32 will be in the NWT, 30 in the Yukon and 2 in Nunavut.
The biggest impact will be in the Yukon, which gets by far the largest tourist numbers of the three territories. The popular Dredge No.4 in Dawson City will close—no more guided tours. Instead next year visitors will just read some placards about the dredge, but they will be able to visit it. About 13,000 visitors see the Dredge each year—Dawson’s most popular draw.
In Whitehorse, tours of the paddle-wheeler S.S.Klondike will cease next year.
Parks Canada has done an exemplary job in giving a great experience to the visitors of Historic Sites. Staff dress in Klondike garb and tell visitors fascinating tales from History. Walking tours provide memories and make for a fun experience. The worrying aspect of these cuts is that the quality of the visitor experience—a placard does not replace a delightful guide.