Free pass at high price

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

The Prince Ed­ward Is­land na­tional park at­tracts hun­dreds of thou­sands of vis­i­tors each year to en­joy the beaches, at­trac­tions and his­tor­i­cal sites. Our eco­log­i­cally frag­ile park is among the small­est in Canada bu­talso among the busiest.

Ad­mis­sion poli­cies de­vel­oped by Prime Min­ster Justin Trudeau mean the park will face a surge in vis­i­tors nex­tyear with heavy pres­sure on fa­cil­i­ties and in­fra­struc­ture. The man­date let­ter is­sued by Mr. Trudeau states: "Make ad­mis­sion for all vis­i­tors to Na­tional Parks free in 2017, the 150th an­niver­sary of Con­fed­er­a­tion."

Free ad­mit­tance will mean that more Is­lan­ders and vis­i­tors alike will be flock­ing to our na­tional park in 2017. A P.E.I. Na­tional Park sea­sonal pass, pur­chased in 2016, will be valid for 24 months from the date of pur­chase.

Park staff and of­fi­cials here should take heed and start de­vel­op­ing plans now on how to deal with in­creased park­ing, con­ces­sions, wash­rooms, safety and other pres­sures ex­pected through­out 2017.

This in­vi­ta­tion to all Cana­di­ans to en­joy na­tional parks dur­ing our na­tional sesqui­cen­ten­nial will still come at a high price.

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