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No plan for P.E.I. parks, says auditor general

P.E.I. auditor general Jane MacAdam addresses members of the public accounts committee as they discuss her annual report's review of provincial parks.
P.E.I. auditor general Jane MacAdam addresses members of the public accounts committee as they discuss her annual report's review of provincial parks. - Ryan Ross
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

With no plan in place to take care of P.E.I.’s provincial parks, Montague-Kilmuir MLA Cory Deagle says it’s embarrassing.

Deagle is one of the MLAs on the public accounts committee who heard from auditor general Jane MacAdam on Wednesday as she reviewed her 2019 report that included a review of the province’s capital asset plan for provincial parks.

MacAdam’s report showed Tourism P.E.I. hasn’t developed a strategic vision for the parks.

Deagle said the state of some of the parks is shameful.

“Even a coat of paint on some of the buildings would go a long way,” he said.

MacAdam told the MLAs she expected Tourism P.E.I. would have had at minimum a five-year capital asset plan.

The auditor general’s report noted Tourism P.E.I. didn’t have a complete and accurate listing of capital assets used for provincial park operations.

That includes the age, useful life and the condition of major capital assets not being documented for capital asset planning.

MacAdam said an adequate plan requires key information, such as the vision for the province’s parks.

Along with that is a consideration of what shape the parks are in now, MacAdam said, adding a lot of buildings are at the end of their useful life.

“That has to be taken into consideration when developing a capital asset plan,” she said.

Of the provincial park buildings, MacAdam said 50 per cent of them are more than 35 years old and, although it varies, the maximum useful life is 40 years.

MacAdam said some assessments meant to point out maintenance issues aren’t being done at the parks.

Deagle said it’s frustrating because the parks are a big economic driver for P.E.I. and the province can’t even look after them.

“It’s embarrassing really,” he said.

Committee members also raised concerns about provincial park playground equipment after MacAdam said Tourism P.E.I. couldn’t provide documentation for any playground inspections.

MacAdam told the MLAs there is no legislated requirement to have playground equipment inspected for CSA guidelines, but it is a Tourism P.E.I. policy.

ryan.ross@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/ryanrross

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