The Kamloops based B.C. Wildlife Park has written to the provincial government warning of a dire fiscal situation putting its future in doubt.
In the letter Executive Director Glen Grant says they operate on a razor thin margin and one now threatened by a number of factors including a hike in the minimum wage and the introduction in last month’s budget of a new health payroll tax.
Grant says the park brings in $1.8 million in revenue and those two additional costs threatening the park’s future operations.
“We simply cannot anticipate us getting 105,000 visitors, then 110,000, then 115,000, and then 120,000 to generate the revenue that it is going to take to keep the park operating. We also cannot keep increasing our rates as there is a breaking point.”
Grant, in the letter, is asking for a meeting with Finance minister Carole James to try and find solutions.
Kamloops South MLA Todd Stone, whose riding includes the park, says the financial challenges are threatening the B.C. Wildlife Park’s ability to even keep its doors open.
“There are always unintended consequences when tax policies and official policies are rolled out without really engaging with folks. We have learned of yet another example of an organization Kamloops that will be hard hit by decisions of the NDP government.”
Stone says the increase in the minimum wage alone will cost the park about $250,000 a year.
He says he will encourage Finance minister Carole James to sit down with officials from the park and hear first hand about the challenges the employers health tax and hike in minimum wage are presenting.