View topic - Confusion re national parks in 2017

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PostPosted: December 2nd, 2016, 9:01 pm 
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Sorry if I've missed a similar discussion on another thread... but can someone explain this to me?

I thought the feds had announced that national park entry would be free in 2017, and that as such, annual Discovery Passes purchased in 2016 (which would normally expire in the equivalent month of 2017) will be valid until said month in 2018, since the pass is meaningless during the free year of 2017.

But now I see Parks Canada advertising free 2017 passes on their website, and press coverage about demand overwhelming bandwidth.

So which is it... will national park entry be free for all, or just for holders of special (free) 2017 Discovery Passes? And if the latter, what is the point of processing and distributing these passes if they're free and everyone can get one? And how would that even work, given that the Discovery Pass is normally not for a calendar year, but for a 12-month period starting when it's purchased?


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PostPosted: December 2nd, 2016, 9:56 pm 
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We purchased our pass this year and I believe it is good to June 2018.
I think they are doing it so that that can have a numbers count and still be able to limit entry into parks that max out at certain times.
Meaning if you don't have a pass you will still have to go to the gate and be registered.
Still free,
But it does not include any of the camping fees, whether it is tent, trailer or back country.
I think there is a lot of misunderstanding on this part.

Big ad campaign but lacking in details for the general public.
There will eventually be some.... "upset" people over this.
Jeff

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PostPosted: December 2nd, 2016, 11:04 pm 
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Still not sure I understand... if they want to limit entry by making people register even without paying, what's the point of handing out a free pass that allows holders to bypass that process? Or does it, even? Like what is the advantage to me right now of claiming a free pass?

Edit: To clarify, camping fees etc would not be included whether you had a pass or not. The Discovery Pass doesn't include camping and neither does normal park admission, you have to pay for camping in addition in national parks. Except in Bruce Peninsula NP for some reason where camping fees include park admission, as with Ontario provincial parks.


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PostPosted: December 23rd, 2016, 7:21 pm 
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Dan M wrote:
Still not sure I understand... if they want to limit entry by making people register even without paying, what's the point of handing out a free pass that allows holders to bypass that process? Or does it, even? Like what is the advantage to me right now of claiming a free pass?

Edit: To clarify, camping fees etc would not be included whether you had a pass or not. The Discovery Pass doesn't include camping and neither does normal park admission, you have to pay for camping in addition in national parks. Except in Bruce Peninsula NP for some reason where camping fees include park admission, as with Ontario provincial parks.



The pass, as I understand it, makes your admission to the Park free. Usually it is not, even when you have pre-booked and pre-paid a campsite within that Park. e.g. Last summer, we were in Alberta, and had booked and paid for a campsite at Lake Louise campgrounds. But, when we got to the gates to "Banff National Park" (which includes the Lake Louise campground), we had to fork over whatever the admission fee was for the Park (20 bucks or something like that) over and above our pre-paid camping fees. So Park does NOT equal Campground. Stupid :doh: . But that's what the Pass will get you - into the Park free, not the Campground. :-?

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PostPosted: December 23rd, 2016, 11:29 pm 
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I understand the distinction, sk8r - unlike our provincial parks in Ontario, the national parks system charges completely separately for camping and for entry, so campers still have to pay the same fee as day users on top of their camping fees. I understand that the Discovery Pass covers the entry fee, not the camping fee, and it is the entry fee that it was announced would be free for 2017. My question is entirely about national park entry, not camping.

The source of my confusion is that if national park entry was to be free for 2017, why does one need a pass, and if acquiring this free pass is the only way to actually get the promised free entry, what is the point of producing, distributing and requiring for this document that no one has to pay for anyway as opposed to just letting people in for free without one?


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PostPosted: December 24th, 2016, 12:56 am 
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Dan M wrote:
The source of my confusion is that if national park entry was to be free for 2017, why does one need a pass, and if acquiring this free pass is the only way to actually get the promised free entry, what is the point of producing, distributing and requiring for this document that no one has to pay for anyway as opposed to just letting people in for free without one?


I'd give a guess......for tracking and data collection purposes.

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PostPosted: December 24th, 2016, 8:44 am 
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Dan M wrote:
I understand the distinction, sk8r - unlike our provincial parks in Ontario, the national parks system charges completely separately for camping and for entry, so campers still have to pay the same fee as day users on top of their camping fees. I understand that the Discovery Pass covers the entry fee, not the camping fee, and it is the entry fee that it was announced would be free for 2017. My question is entirely about national park entry, not camping.

The source of my confusion is that if national park entry was to be free for 2017, why does one need a pass, and if acquiring this free pass is the only way to actually get the promised free entry, what is the point of producing, distributing and requiring for this document that no one has to pay for anyway as opposed to just letting people in for free without one?


Ah, my misunderstanding. I guess the only rational explanation is what recped said - government addiction to statistics..... :roll:

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PostPosted: December 24th, 2016, 2:53 pm 
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government addiction to statistics..... :roll:


Somebody has to make up for Parks Canada budget losses for this perk. I would assume Parks Canada needs to track the number of freebies so they can be compensated out of the 150th celebration budget. Otherwise this little pr move of Justin's could put the Parks out of business.

Then there is the follow up marketing they can do to all the people who signed up for the passes.

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PostPosted: January 4th, 2017, 8:03 am 
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Finally some clarity, courtesy of Global:
http://globalnews.ca/news/3156589/parks ... 49311215=1


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