POLITICS

Canal seasons to be unchanged, Kent says

10/18/2012 09:12 EDT | Updated 12/18/2012 05:12 EST
The Rideau Canal and Trent-Severn Waterway will be open for a full season of boating, the federal environment minister announced, despite an earlier statement stating the season would have to be shortened.

Minister Peter Kent told reporters Thursday, the 2013 season would last as long as usual, from the Victoria Day weekend in May until Thanksgiving in October.

Kent said operational and financial challenges were addressed to enable the canal and waterway to run a full season.

There will be more details announced in the coming weeks about a change in hours for the spring and autumn. There will also be announcements on what Kent called "long-delayed and long-needed adjustments" to some lockage and moorage fees that have remained the same for decades.

Kent had hinted at this announcement in August when meeting with municipal leaders from 13 communities along the Rideau Canal system.

That meeting focused on the federal government's previous plan to cut back the canal's hours of operation and its potentially devastating impact on local businesses.

Kent also acknowledged at the time he heard the concern "loud and clear."

A number of measures have been considered to boost revenues and cut the cost of running national parks and other national tourist attractions to help maintain season schedules.