Residents “Happy” About No Plans To Privatize New Brunswick Provincial Park

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Residents and campers are pleased to know that the New Brunswick‘s government has announced that it will continue to manage Murray Beach Provincial Park, despite plans to outsource, a report said.

In the report, Morgan Bell, spokesperson for the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, stated that Murray Beach Provincial Park will remain under the control of the department. “We don’t have plans to outsource Murray Beach at the moment.”

Murray Corner residents and seasonal residents were outraged to learn that the province wanted to put out a tender for a private operator to manage the park in 2019. However, the provincial park status would remain intact, the report added.

The province stated in July 2019 that the move to the private sector would result in $148,000 annually of savings.

Mentioned in the report is Stephen Robb, a local resident who led an action group asking the province to keep operating the park.

Concerns were raised about job losses of seasonal employees as well as the creation of more sites on the existing land.

Another was Keith Watson, who had just spent time camping in the park, was pleased to hear that the province would continue its role.

Watson said that the campground has a lot of space between the trailers, which is something we love about it, and other provincial campgrounds. “They’re going after more money, so they’ll be packing more trailers into this area. So you’ll have less privacy and more space between them.”

Privacy aside, there were concerns about the impact on water quality that more campsites and people camping at them would have on the water quality, the report said.

Leola Langille has been camping at Murray Beach for 14+ years. “I think that the more campers there are, the more we need to worry about whether everyone is following strict procedures to ensure the water quality.”

There have been four no-swimming advisories since the start of June at Murray Beach, according to the provincial park water quality monitoring website.

Langille said it was “really good news to hear that the province will still manage the park.”

The Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture stated that it would not reverse its plans to outsource management in 2019. However, there was a reversal, although not necessarily because of opposition to the plan, the report stated.

The aftermath of Hurricane Dorian left at least two coastal provincial parks with a huge cleanup task.

The province agreed to continue looking after the park through 2020 and reiterated this week that it has no plans to change, said the report.

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