Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith has been appointed as a special advisor for Ontario Parks, the government agency that manages parks and protected areas in Ontario.
Ontario Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks Rod Phillips made the announcement earlier today (February 7).
According to a media release, Smith will provide strategic advice to Phillips on how to improve programs and increase revenue opportunities at Ontario’s provincial parks.
The Ontario government has a target of increasing the number of Ontarians visiting provincial parks by 10 per cent, or approximately one million more visitors.
Smith will not receive remuneration beyond his current salary for the advisor role, but will be reimbursed for eligible expenses, the media release states.
Ontario manages and protects 340 provincial parks and 295 conservation reserves, totalling 9.8 million hectares or nine per cent of the province.
The head office of Ontario Parks is located at Robinson Place in downtown Peterborough, where it was previously under the mandate of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Responsibility for Ontario Parks was transferred to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (previously the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change) in June 2018.