Winterlude is in full swing here in the National Capital Region as thousands of people flock to the Rideau Canal, the world’s longest outdoor skating rink and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Interest in the ongoing preservation and celebration of the Rideau Canal clearly falls within the mandate of the Workers’ History Museum. Unfortunately, cuts to the Rideau and Trent-Severn canal systems may put the future of these historic Canadian canals in jeopardy.

The Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE) launched a campaign over the summer of 2012 to raise awareness about the negative effects of the $29.2 million in cuts to Parks Canada. UCTE is a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and an institutional member of the Workers’ History Museum.

The Rideau Canal alone will lose $2 million annually, despite being designated a National Historic Site of Canada and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cuts will affect several other canals, including Lachine, Carillion, Chambly, and Saint-Ours.

With reduced staff to maintain and manage the canals, along with proposals to shorten the operating season and hours of service, our region’s tourism industry is under threat.

“For communities along these canal systems, this means the loss of tourism dollars and millions in economic spin-offs for small businesses, such as marinas, hotels, restaurants and boat operators,” said Christine Collins, UCTE National President.

For further information:
Lira Buschman, UCTE Communications Officer: 613-558-4003
Lino Vieira, PSAC Communications Officer: 416-577-0238