Wildlife and nature lovers have some a great reason to look forward to a fabulous 2017 more than any other year before! It’s been declared that entrance to all national parks, historical sites, and marine conservation reserves in Canada will be admission-free for the whole of 2017 as the country celebrates 150 years of independence.
Canada became independent on July 1, 1867, after the enactment of the Constitution Act of 1867 which brought together the three British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a single state called Canada. Since then, this day has been known as Canada Day and it is a federal statutory holiday to mark its independence.
With free admission for 365 days, nature and wildlife lovers will have no excuses not to visit some of the most scenic and eco-diverse reserves scattered all over the huge country. This came immediately after the U.S also earlier announced that all of their national parks will be entry-free on Martin Luther King Jr Day. The day is an American federal holiday that marks the birth of Martin Luther King Jr every third Monday of January each year, which is around King’s birthday, January 15.
Normally, Canada issues annual passes for visitors to its national parks and these can cost $136 for a group or family of up to seven members, a single adult pass costs $67, the elderly pay $57 and youths, $33. So anyone purchasing a pass this year can rejoice while looking forward to an adventurous 2017. This means 24 months of free wild adventures instead of the normal 12. That’s not all, Canada is also welcoming its new citizens in the friendliest way possible; any new Canadian citizen will also obtain a free 2017 annual pass to explore their new country’s natural and wildlife reserves. Additionally, all Canadians below the age of 18 will also be admitted to all Canadian national parks for free.
These offers are initiatives by the new Liberal government aimed at making Canadians develop a deep interest in getting acquainted with their own country. A ministerial letter from Canada’s Environment and Climate Change Minister Ms. Catherine McKenna partly read: “Make admission for all visitors to National Parks free in 2017, the 150th anniversary of Confederation,” It went on: “Beginning in 2018, ensure that admission for children under 18 is free, and provide any adult who has become a Canadian citizen in the previous 12 months one year’s free admission.”
Those who had bought this year’s annual passes to Canadian national parks are already excited to know that technically, the passes would last for a fabulous two years as this will encourage them to get more familiar with their own nature and wildlife which itself will be an exceptional experience, especially to the new and young Canadians.
Canada’s national parks receive an annual funding of $670-million that comes from the federal government but the overseeing agency also earns its own revenue from entrance fees, camping and recreation fees, car and camp rentals and tourist businesses.
According to the 2014 annual report, Parks Canada Agency collected about $59 million in park entrance fees for that year and this amounts to almost half of the federal government’s non-government revenue. Those with these ‘biennial’ passes will now have unlimited access to more than 100 national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas across the country that normally charge entry fees.
Some of the best national parks you should look forward to adventuring without paying a single penny for the whole of 2017 include; Banff National Park, Waterton Lakes National Park, Jasper National Park, Yoho National Park, and a lot more. Parks like these are great for outdoor fun activities like fishing, hiking, bird watching, camping, kayaking, backpacking and meeting an abundance of wildlife. You would also get to explore historical sites like Niagara Falls, Stanley Park, and Rideau Canal.