In case you haven’t heard, 2017 marks Canada’s 150th anniversary since confederation. Happy birthday year, Canada!
To celebrate, Parks Canada announced a free giveaway of parks passes. It’s a pretty sweet deal—visitors to all Canadian parks who opt in can enter for free—and so far, it’s garnered substantial attention, with over a million people signing up.
But that number has some people concerned for both the comfort of the locals and the health of the parkland and its animals.
As mentioned by the local guide in the video above, an increase in human traffic will likely lead to more animals being killed on the road (not to mention car accidents), more trash and greater vehicular congestion to the nearby municipalities. Whether Parks Canada will have enough staff to keep up with the influx of visitors is also a concern.
Obviously, the increase in visitors is welcome for those selling to tourists. Bars, restaurants, hotels and other businesses will likely see an increase in sales this year. But for those that live in already very busy cities like Banff, the increased congestion is more of a pain than a gain. The mayor of Banff believes free shuttle busses running people from the park gate areas into the city would be a good way to mitigate the influx of travellers and reduce traffic on the roads, but Parks Canada needs to agree before that initiative can be brought to life.
That’s the issue with giving away quality, free stuff—word gets around, and in the end, it becomes more of a hassle than a treat. Check out the video above for more details.