Young adults gathering information at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre, at Glacier National Park.

How Parks Canada fees work

Canadian taxpayers fund Parks Canada’s conservation efforts because the whole country benefits from a national network of protected places that will be preserved for generations to come. This includes creating new protected areas, protecting and restoring species at risk, ecological monitoring, as well as safeguarding and commemorating nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage. When someone visits a national park, national historic site, or national marine conservation area, they are making personal use of visitor infrastructure and services. Because they have a personal benefit, they are asked to offset a portion of these costs through the fees they pay.

Parks Canada fees are set to ensure reasonable cost recovery for quality services, as well as good value for visitors. Various factors play a role in pricing decisions, including the cost of delivering the service, as well as comparisons with similar services offered at regional, national and international heritage attractions. It’s important to remember that Parks Canada only seeks to recover a portion of service costs through fees, not make a profit.

How will the Service Fees Act affect Parks Canada fees?

The Government of Canada introduced the Service Fees Act in 2017 as part of a larger effort to improve service cost recovery across all departments and agencies, as well as to strengthen transparency and accountability for fee payers. Under the Act, departments will be required to provide more detailed reports on fees, as well as formalize service standards. To help support improved cost recovery, the Service Fees Act also requires that all federal organizations make scheduled adjustments to fees by based on changes to the Consumer Price Index. As a result, most Parks Canada fees will increase by 2.2% on January 1, 2020.

The Consumer Price Index, and why it matters

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the national standard indicator of changes in consumer prices. CPI is determined by comparing the cost of a standardized group of goods and services over time, and this data is collected and published by Statistics Canada on a monthly basis. CPI is widely used to adjust wages, leases and child support allowances. Private and public pension programs, personal income tax deductions, and some government social payments are also escalated using CPI. To learn more about CPI from Statistics Canada, click here .