I take issue with the Parks Canada manager’s assessment that the Hot Spring Enterprise Unit is best served as a contracted-out entity, as compared to being run in-house by Parks Canada Agency.
Any tendered proposal has to meet a set of criteria in order for the proposal to be viable: start-up costs, staffing; ongoing maintenance costs; procurement; capital reinvestment; profit margin; and Parks Canada monitoring the contract.
The marketing strategy will additionally have hurdles to overcome, owing to the fact that the Government of Canada is once again trying to off its hot springs, which is identifiable as the origin of the National Parks sytem within Canada. It is a treasured place — iconic in the Canadian identity for generations.
Who better to provide a quality public service then the very employees that do it now, and not-for-profit?
Visitation would be on the decline, knowing that these locations are neither being run nor managed by Parks Canada staff, regardless of what marketing strategy is developed.
All told, the private costs of the contract will be greater than continuing the services as they are presently. As the profit margin of the private enterprise dwindles, the profit margin would have to be maintained in order for the enterprise to remain viable. That means service standards would have to drop, or other corners would need to be cut.
It appears that the hot springs operations are destined to become a greater expenditure to taxpayers of Canada than having those services performed in-house. This should be challenged.
I suggest this venture: proposed private enterprise in “partnership” with Parks Canada needs to throw in the towel.
Regional Vice President
Union of National Employees
Public Service Alliance of Canada