NEWS

Ottawa set to privatize famous Cape Breton golf course

09/04/2012 11:06 EDT | Updated 11/04/2012 05:12 EST
Parks Canada is looking to privatize the federally owned Highlands Links golf course in Ingonish, N.S., which could put 22 ground workers out of a job.

The department is on the hunt for a private operator to run both the Keltic Lodge Resort and Spa and the golf course in Cape Breton.

About 22 workers have received affected letters, meaning their jobs are in danger of being declared surplus if the course is privatized.

"We're not being shown any options here, the only option that's been put in front of us is privatization. There's been no attempt to sit down and discuss 'Ok what kind of business plan can we develop to maintain the operation within Parks Canada,'" said Eddie Kennedy, vice-president of the union representing the workers.

Kennedy is meeting with Premier Darrell Dexter Tuesday to discuss the issue. He said he hopes Dexter will recognize the economic impact of the cuts.

"Highland Links is rated number six in the country, and it's rated number six because of the dedication and the work the Parks Canada staff do in maintaining it to its current level," he said.

"We fear the fact that if it was to leave Parks Canada it would no longer be in that position where it would receive that kind of international ranking."

During public service cuts announced in the spring over 1,689 Parks Canada workers received affected notices nationwide.

The department operates a number of federally protected parks, marine conservation areas and dozens of historic sites across the country.

MORE:cbcNews