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Many Canadians expressed their discontent with a newly announced Parks Canada policy allowing “newcomers to Canada and new Canadian citizens” free admission to all national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas as part of a new policy.

According to the Parks Canada website, for the next year “admission to all national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada.”

“Using the Institute for Canadian Citizenship’s Canoo mobile app, enjoy free admission to all places administered by Parks Canada across the country for one full year,” it reads. 

However, the free admission policy is limited solely to newcomers and new Canadian citizens, if you’re already a tax paying citizen, you’ll be paying full price. 

“Get back to nature and unwind amidst the spectacular scenery in Canada’s national parks and marine conservation areas,” reads the website. “Celebrate your arrival in Canada or your citizenship with great Canadian experiences,” it continued.

“Check out some of the most awesome places in Canada. We look forward to welcoming you!”

The 1998 Parks Canada Agency Act established Parks Canada as a separate Government of Canada Agency, which currently reports to Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault.

While daily admission and service fees and single-location passes are variable depending on the location, camping fees for a family pass begin at $151.25.

The announcement was met with strong disapproval on X, with the overwhelming majority of comments frustrated with the new policy. 

“But Canadian citizens have to pay $150…. Your priorities are completely backwards. Do better,” wrote one user on X.

“How about collaborating for Canadian Citizens that have lived here for decades and are struggling with costs of just about everything!” another user wrote. 

“This is disgusting… Slap in the face to Canadians born here….” said another.

According to the Parks Canada website, revenue collected from park pass purchases helps to fund the management of Canada’s national parks.

Active members of the Canadian Armed Forces, veterans and their immediate families were also granted free access to national park sites earlier this year. 

Additionally, the parks are free to children aged 17 and under as well as support persons aiding a visitor with a disability.