Free pass at high price
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.