In 2017, our home and native land will be turning the big 150.
In celebration of this significant milestone, Parks Canada is waiving all park entrance fees for the year. What could be more Canadian than that?
The initiative was brought forward by the Liberal government (thanks, Mr. Trudeau) and will make all park access free for all users in 2017. Youth and new Canadians will be granted free entrance in 2018, the CBC reports.
This will give Canadians the chance to experience the country’s most beautiful national parks, something that many Canadians might not have had the opportunity to experience.
Currently, a single day youth pass costs around $5 and an annual family pass can go for $135 and up, so the waive of these fees will attract more families who might not be able to afford the visit.
“I think the experience will be an exceptional one, particularly for many new Canadians who have yet to experience our national parks,” Darren Reeder, the executive director of the Banff Lake Louise Hospitality Association told CBC News.
Reeder also said he thinks this initiative is a great way to introduce those who have yet to visit a park and those who have maybe lost familiarity with our parks to reconnect.
Most funding for Parks Canada’s roughly $670-million annual budget is generated by the federal government, but the agency also generates its own revenue from a variety of sources that include entrance fees, camping and recreation fees, rentals and concessions.
Parks Canada will lose around $60 million in revenue for waiving park fees for one year. A loss well taken, we say.