09/02/2016 10:48 EDT | Updated 09/03/2017 01:12 EDT

Government-run hot springs in the Rocky Mountain won't be privatized

CALGARY — The federal government says it won't be privatizing three hot springs run by Parks Canada in the Rocky Mountains after all.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said Friday that after extensive analysis the government has decided it's in the best interest of Canadians for Parks Canada to continue to manage the facilities.

Stemming from the 2008 budget, the government had started looking into the potential of privatizing the Radium Hot Springs in Kootenay National Park, the Miette Hot Springs in Jasper National Park and the Banff Upper Hot Springs in Banff National Park, as a way to modernize the operations.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada had come out opposed to the move, which would have seen the facilities lease to private companies, citing concerns of job losses and price increases.

In announcing its decision, the government noted that the hot springs played a key role in the establishment of Canada's national parks system and are also important to the indigenous history and culture in the region.

It said Parks Canada will continue to look for ways to attract a broad range of visitors, including youth and newcomers, to the sites.