Parks Canada’s Unilateral Decisions Directly Impacting Local Communities

Wasagaming, MB – Parks Canada announced sweeping restrictions on water access throughout Riding Mountain National Park (RMNP). This follows months of uncertainty and the cancellation of all water- based events earlier this year. The Tourism Industry Association of Manitoba (TIAM) and Indigenous Tourism Manitoba (ITM) are concerned that the ban has been announced without complementary supports to address impacts to visitor experiences, local businesses, and local jobs.

“Federal and provincial governments have a duty to step up with support programs to ensure businesses can continue to serve visitors to the region.” said John Gunter, TIAM Board Chair.

Parks Canada has indicated that this decision is valid throughout 2024 with no timeline for reassessment. The impacts from this decision are already being felt, including by new Indigenous tourism operators.

“Indigenous Tourism Manitoba is deeply concerned about the impact of these restrictions, including on Indigenous tourism operations offering visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the rich culture and traditions of the area's Indigenous peoples,” said Holly Courchene, CEO, ITM. “We urge governments to work with us to find a solution that preserves the park's beauty while ensuring the viability of our tourism industry.”

TIAM and ITM, in collaboration with local businesses and operators in RMNP, are requesting that in addition to establishing an advisory committee on lake protection for RMNP, the federal and provincial governments invest in enhanced visitor experiences for the Park and establish an economic relief fund for local businesses. Specifically, they are calling for:

  • A minimum investment of $500,000 in a 2024 Visitor Experience Fund for the Park
  • A minimum investment of $500,000 in a 2024 Economic Relief Fund for local businesses

“It is critical, now more than ever, that all levels of government engage with the community to address the impacts of this decision and develop long-term solutions.” said Chuck Davidson, President & CEO, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce.


For more information, please contact

Representatives from TIAM’s acting board met for the first time with the Hon. Jamie Moses, Minister of Economic Development, Investment, Trade, and Natural Resources.

Friday April 12, 2024 – This meeting was an important opportunity to introduce Min. Moses to TIAM as the voice for the tourism industry in Manitoba. Also discussed was the value of tourism, the role the tourism industry plays in Manitoba’s economy, and how investment in tourism brings an incredible and immediate return to Manitoba.

The TIAM representatives highlighted how Min. Moses’ department can play an important role in supporting the tourism industry and tourism operators, and appreciated his commitment to ensuring the department is prepared to step up and work across departments with industry to tackle challenges and seize opportunities. TIAM looks forward to its next meeting with Minister Moses.

TIAM acting board members held their quarterly meeting with the Hon. Glen Simard, Minister of Sports, Culture, Heritage and Tourism.

Thursday April 11, 2024 – At the meeting TIAM representatives shared the industry’s response to the recent provincial budget.

While it’s disappointing that Manitoba continues to fall further behind other provinces with no increase in Travel Manitoba’ s budget, TIAM is pleased to hear the Minister’s commitment to returning to the 95/5 funding formula within a year. TIAM also discussed collaborating with the Minister by bringing together government and industry to tackle key issues such as the hospitality and tourism labour shortage, tourism staff housing, supporting Indigenous tourism, and the challenge being faced by operators in Riding Mountain National Park.

TIAM also shared our appreciation for the Government’s support to keep Clear Lake open and stepping-up enforcement against Aquatic Invasive Species in response to the federal government’s potential decisions that could have multi-million dollar impacts to communities and the economy. TIAM looks forward to hearing Minister’s Simard’s remarks in the fire-side chat at our upcoming conference!

Manitoba Election 2023

TIAM calls on all political parties to commit to address critical issues in the tourism industry.

During Summer 2023, TIAM surveyed members regarding advocacy priorities. For the October 3, 2023 provincial election, TIAM is advocating the top three priorities with political party leaders.

See more:

“Tourism is the fourth fastest growing industry in the world and there needs to be a stronger commitment to increasing tourism and attracting those tourists to our province [...] Manitoba cannot afford to be left behind.”

TIAM News Release  |  September 15, 2023 (PDF)
Address the Labour Shortage

Position paper (PDF)
Social slide (PNG)
Recognize industry value with a Minister of Tourism

Position paper (PDF)
Social slide (PNG)
Strengthen Travel Manitoba’s Sustainable Funding Model

Position paper (PDF)
Social slide (PNG)