Free national park passes for all in 2017 to mark Canada's 150th anniversary

The federal government is making entry into the national parks and historic sites free in 2017 as a way to mark the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation.
In an emailed statement, Parks Canada said it means any passes purchased this year are valid for two years.
“As a first step towards celebrating Canada150, Discovery Passes for 2016 will be valid for 24 months, rather than 12 months,” wrote Parks Canada’s Natalie Fay. “All Parks Canada Discovery Passes purchased in 2016 will be valid for 24 months from the date of purchase.
“The passes will incorporate the purchase of one year’s admission and free admission to Parks Canada places in 2017.”
It means an annual pass bought today would be valid until January 2018, rather than January 2017. Or visitors can just wait until January 2017 and get a free pass for that year.
Providing free entry into national parks in 2017 was first mentioned in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mandate letter to Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna.
“Make admission for all visitors to national parks free in 2017, the 150th anniversary of Confederation,” it states.
The news came as a welcome bonus to social media users who’ve already bought their park passes for this year.
“Who knew?” wrote Cheri Macaulay on Twitter. “If you get a Parks Canada annual pass now, it’s good until 2018. Because we all get in free in 2017 for Canada’s 150th!”
Replied Calgarian Beth Allan: “I’m excited for my 2016 pass to expire in June now. Hahah!”
Starting in 2018, according to the same mandate letter, Parks Canada could also make admission for children under 18 free and provide any adult who has become a Canadian citizen in the previous 12 months with a year’s free admission to the national parks.
Parks Canada could also expand the Learn to Camp program, which helps low- and middle-income families experience the national parks.
Fay’s statement said they are working closely with the federal government’s partners on other plans to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation.
“Exact details on any new initiatives are still being determined and will be announced in due course,” she added.

A single pass gets you in!

Whether you want to explore and appreciate Canada's unique and diverse wildlife, wilderness, and natural environment, or discover the inspiring people, places and events of our fascinating past, the Parks Canada Discovery Pass is the one for you.

NEW! Parks Canada's 2016 Annual Passes are valid for TWO full years.
This is the first step towards celebrating the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation.


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