The proposed privatization of Canadian Rockies Hot Springs have caused an uproar in communities like Jasper, Banff, and Radium Hot Springs, where these attractions are based.
“It’s a slap in the face to every Canadian,” says Stephan Titcomb, 14-year employee of Banff Upper Hot Springs. “It’s the most affordable thing to do in Banff. Patrons are outraged when they hear about the pending privatization. Nobody’s pleased about this.”
Dawn Price, a 14-year employee of Miette Hot Springs in Jasper National Park, echoes Titcomb’s displeasure. “I think it’s really disappointing. I don’t understand why they’re trying to fix something that isn’t broken,” she says. “I just think they’re going to be losing a big source of our heritage.”
Price is concerned with the potential abuse of national parks under privatization. She worries that there will be an impact to the standard of service, the natural environment and protection of natural resources.
But the biggest loss will come to the communities who consider the springs a part of their heritage and have been using the facilities for generations.
“We have repeat customers from all over,” explains Price. “Their families have come for years to what they consider to be the ‘healing waters’, and for rest and relaxation. Parks is throwing it all away.”