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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