The Albertan government's plans to shut down and privatize numerous parks across the province have created a province-wide uproar in response. An online petition titled "Keep Our Provincial Campgrounds Open" has been in circulation and has amassed well over 16,000 signatures so far. Protests against the closure and privatization of Alberta parks are also being planned in many cities. 

The provincial government's budget was introduced at the end of February, and on March 3, the government presented a list of twenty parks slated for closure or partial closure.

Eleven parks out of the listed twenty are intended to be completely inaccessible to the public and the remaining nine parks would be accessible, but without any of their services.   

The government also announced that they were looking for third-party private partners to help offload over 168 provincial parks. 

As a result of these plans, as stated on an official notice, an online petition has emerged in the fight against the proposals. 

The petition was created by Kathy Gaboury, who addresses Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in the description. The petition asks Kenney to not close our provincial parks and campgrounds. 

The petition goes on to describe how the tourism associated with the parks supports small rural towns. 

"Tourism is what brings people to small and large communities. Exploring all of Alberta is a special opportunity that everyone can enjoy. Families need campgrounds. Couples need campgrounds. Hikers use campgrounds. People in the cities need campgrounds." 

The petition has already received 16,600 signatures from supporters and the number is only increasing. It has an initial goal of 25,000 signatures. 

In addition to the online petition, protests have been planned all around the province in opposition to the proposed changes for the parks

Edmonton is set to see a "Protect Our Parks" event on Sunday, March 29 where participants are hosting a peaceful protest in front of the Legislature Building to raise awareness about this issue.

The organizers believe "everyone should have access to these spaces" and that the government's proposed changes would leave these parks vulnerable going forward. 

Similar events are on the agenda in Calgary as well. The "Protect Our Parks Flash Camp Rally" is being planned for Sunday, March 15. The participants claim to be "hosting a peaceful and apolitical protest to fight the proposed budget cuts." 

A protest is set to occur in Canmore, Alberta on Wednesday, March 11. It's called "We've Had Enough" and this particular protest will be addressing issues beyond just the parks.

Their description explains that "the list of cuts is long and deep right now and the bad news just keeps coming. Hospitals, schools, parks, camping, AISH, seniors prescription drugs, Wild Life corridors, water rights, x-ski trails....take your pick."

It appears that the Alberta government is facing quite a bit of backlash for their proposed budget cuts planned for fiscal year 2020-2021. 

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