VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – If you’re heading to a national park this coming Victoria Day long weekend, don’t be surprised if park staff are sad or a little on edge.

Parks Canada workers are bracing for big job cuts announced in the federal budget.

Almost two dozen workers will be laid off in BC. Eddie Kennedy with the Union of National Employees says that is out of more than 1,600 affected workers nationally who could be let go or have their hours cut.

“[The parks and historic sites] are not in locations where there is readily jobs waiting for people who are affected. So it’s putting people in a situation of either not having a job in the community they’re in, and having to move out of it, or taking a job at such a reduced rate that their income’s drastically reduced.”

He adds the cuts will especially affect rural areas.

“So for them to lose that [jobs], it’s a direct hit to that small little community that neighbours a national park or historic site and it’s also a direct hit to those other businesses that make their living off that national site and national park being an attraction to bring people into their community.”

Kennedy notes bed and breakfasts and restaurants could also be hit hard if parks and sites open later or close earlier.