Trudeau government offers free access to national parks for migrants only

May 5, 2024 | Political News

Parks Canada has decided to offer a real break in 2024 for people looking to enjoy some of Canada’s glorious outdoors and backwoods.

But only people who are newcomers and new Canadian citizens. In a Parks Canada post, the federal government agency announced that there will be “Free admission for newcomers to Canada and new Canadian citizens” in 2024. That applies to any park in Canada, from B.C. to Newfound and Labrador and there is no indication that free access is limited.

Other Canadians will continue to pay $151.25 for a season’s pass for up to seven family members or $75.25 for an individual season’s pass that is good for any federally owned park. A day pass for what is perhaps the best-known national park in Canada – in Banff, AB – is $11 a day.

Parks Canada lauds the deal on its site under the heading of “Explore spectacular Parks Canada places.”

“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.

“Visit one of Canada's national historic sites, each telling a unique story to piece together the defining moments in the story of Canada.

“Get back to nature and unwind amidst the spectacular scenery in Canada's national parks and marine conservation areas.

“Celebrate your arrival in Canada or your citizenship with great Canadian experiences. Check out some of the most awesome places in Canada. We look forward to welcoming you!”

However, Parks Canada does not define its terminology for those getting free access.

How “new” does a “new Canadian” need to be to be entitled to the deal? By definition, a new Canadian is a “recent immigrant” to Canada. But that is hardly specific.

And a newcomer to Canada can mean a “permanent resident” who is expecting someday to be a citizen; a refugee, who has been granted that status by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada or a “temporary resident,” who can include foreign students or temporary foreign workers.