Parks Canada launched on Jan. 11 public consultations on proposed fee adjustments which will end the five-year Parks Canada fee freeze currently in place.

The revenue that is earned from user fees directly supports the services that visitors enjoy at national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas, The Soo Today, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, reported.

“I invite Canadians to visit the Parks Canada website to have a look at our fee proposals,” said Alan Latourelle, chief executive officer for Parks Canada. “I believe that what we have proposed is a very reasonable approach to ensuring services and programs for visitors remain economically viable and of the high quality visitors expect, and that Canadians continue to have memorable and meaningful experiences when they visit their treasured places.”

Parks Canada is proposing that future fee adjustments be in accordance with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in order to respond to annual inflationary operational costs. Most fees will be limited to an adjustment not exceeding the two-year cumulative percentage of the average CPI. This would occur in two-year intervals thereafter, beginning in 2013.

At some Parks Canada places, new fees are being proposed for new services and other fee adjustments may occur for unique location-specific services to ensure they can be delivered in the future.

While there will be some moderate fee adjustments, other fees may be reduced according to the level of service.

To support Canadians and tourism businesses during a difficult economic period, Parks Canada fees have been frozen at 2008 levels until March 31, 2013.

For visitors, the fee freeze will end after any proposed fees have been tabled in Parliament following public consultation.

The fee freeze will extend 18 months after the fee consultation processes are complete for commercial operators.

Parks Canada has over 3,300 fees for diverse services such as park and site entry, camping, interpretive programs, boat lockage, facility rentals, etc.

These revenues are invested in the sites to help pay for the range of quality services and facilities that visitors use and enjoy.

The expense of providing services to visitors continues to increase as a result of higher energy and other operational costs.

Parks Canada works to ensure Canada’s historic and natural heritage is protected and, through a network of 44 national parks, 167 national historic sites, and four national marine conservation areas, invites Canadians and people around the world to engage in personal moments of inspiring discovery at our country’s treasured natural and historic places.