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Veterans and active armed forces members given free access to Ontario Parks

Veterans and active members of the Canadian Armed Forces will get access to Ontario Parks for free starting on Remembrance Day.

Environment Minister, Jeff Yurek, calls it a token of appreciation

Past and present members of the Canadian Armed Forces are being given free weekday, day-use entry to Ontario Parks. (Ontario Parks )

Veterans and active members of the Canadian Armed Forces will get free weekday, day-use access to Ontario Parks starting on Remembrance Day, November 11, 2019.

The announcement was made Friday morning at the St. Thomas Legion by Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.  

"Providing veterans and active Canadian Armed Forces members free access to our beautiful provincial parks is a token of appreciation for the sacrifices they have made to protect the freedoms we have and the values we hold dear," Yurek said in a written statement. 

The announcement was well received by veterans.

'A step forward'

"The great outdoors is most cherished by veterans and military members," said Garry Pond, Ontario Provincial President of the Royal Canadian Legion. 

Pond pointed out his organization has long been urging governments to do more research and offer more supports for operational stress injuries. He believes this initiative will not only help veterans and members of the armed forces with their health, but that it's also a step forward in helping de-stigmatize mental health in the military. 

"This news should be well received by our community," he said. 

The provincial government also allows all veterans and active Canadian Armed Forces members, who live in Ontario, access to recreational fishing without having to buy a fishing licence.