Parks Canada proposes raising park user fees
Visitors could soon be paying more to visit national parks across Canada including in the North.
Fees have been at the same level since 2008 but Parks Canada is hoping to get permission for an increase.
There are four national parks in Nunavut: Quttiniripaaq National Park is on northern Ellesmere Island, Sirmilik is near Pond Inlet, Auyuittuq runs between Pangnirtung and Qikiqtarjuaq, and Ukksiksalik is near Repulse Bay.
Under the proposed fee change the annual backcountry excursion camping pass in those parks would go up by almost $3 to $150. The freelance photo permit would increase by the same amount.
There would also be a new $5 entry fee for youth and it would cost $25 for a plane to land in the park. Similar increases and new fees are proposed for parks in N.W.T. and Yukon.
Joavie Alivaktuk, an outfitter in Pangnirtung, is concerned about the price hikes.
"If the user fees go up, it will affect the number of visitors coming to our parks," he said in Inuktitut. "Visitors that had planned to come up here will now plan instead to visit the southern parks."
The federal agency is currently consulting the public on a long list of proposed fee hikes and new fees for the country's national parks and historic sites, pointing out that the rates have been frozen since 2008 and costs are on the rise.
At the same time as fees are going up, many services are in decline following $29.2 million in announced budget cuts over the next three years and the resultant 600 jobs lost across the system.
with files from Canadian Press