Canada’s National Parks will be free for kids permanently.
During his Budget 2018 speech, Finance Minister Bill Morneau confirmed the promise of free admission for youth 17 and under to Parks Canada locations.
“When we encouraged Canadians to visit our National Parks last year, they responded by the millions. Some Parks were so busy they had to turn people away,” said Monreau when he tabled the budget.
“We saw how popular our free admissions program was, and that’s why we decided to make Canada’s National Parks permanently free for kids.”
— Minister C. McKenna (@ec_minister) February 27, 2018
The news was initially announced in December by federal environment minister Catherine McKenna and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau.
But not everyone seemed happy with the government’s plan.
“Extending free admissions to everyone would be bad for Canada’s National Parks,” Greg Pyle, a professor at the University of Lethbridge, said in a tweet. “If last year was any indication, there’d be huge crowds, trampled landscapes, lots of trash in otherwise pristine areas, and harassed wildlife.”
This year’s budget also delivers a commitment to conservation, according to Morneau, with a historic investment of $1.3 billion to conserve more land and waters, preserve biodiversity, and protect species at risk.
“Canada is one of the most beautiful places on Earth,” Morneau said. “It’s up to all of us to help keep it that way.”