$90 fee to access Kananaskis Country

Minister of Environment and Parks Jason Nixon

“The pass will support the continued grooming of xc ski trails” – Jason Nixon

Effective June 1, The Kananaskis Conservation Pass will be required for vehicles entering K-Country. 

It will go by your licence plate and you can include two vehicles for the fee. 

A $15 day pass is also an option. The good news is that we won’t have to pay extra for ski grooming. 

It costs the provincial government $107 million to provide recreation, conservation, and public safety services in K-Country. The pass is expected to bring in $15 million. 

Kananaskis Emergency Services responded to 428 calls for help last year, a 51% yearly increase. 

Today’s announcement includes $1 million for upgrades to the Canmore Nordic Centre. 

Visitor Centres will be re-opened. 

Among those exempt from the fee will be low-income earners and First Nations people.

You can watch a video of today’s news conference.

Calgary Sun Nixon Comes Out Swinging

CBC has a story Alberta to charge $90 annual fee for Kananaskis Country….

“the Kananaskis Conservation Pass will allow the government to invest $11.5 million in K-Country. That will include trail maintenance, search and rescue operations, visitor services and the upkeep of facilities at day-use areas and campgrounds. “


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    There is nothing worse than an undemocratic dictatorial oligarchy government for the people or park users. If we lived in a real democracy where people make the decisions, it is highly likely that the people would reject Conservative oligarchy government user fees for parks.

    The wealthy have gotten 30% richer during the COVID-19 crisis while most other people have lost wealth. It is only logical to make the wealthy pay more rather than the poor or the lower middle class. There are numerous ways to do this including raising license plate fees for luxury or gas guzzling vehicles. It would not bother some rich skier to pay $1000 dollars per year for a license plate for their BMW. The government should put in a luxury provincial sales tax if it needs money- with the consult of the people democratically. Or the government should raise oil royalties to Lougheed era rates. That would bring in billions of dollars of revenue for the oil you are a shareholder owner of. Our parks need to remain universal like our health care system so all people can have the opportunity to access them without being financially penalized.

    Putting user fees on one park will spread to all others in the future if the oligarchy dictatorial political system remains. We the people own the park lands and we should have a democratic say in reguards to fees.

    The intention of the UCP (United Charging Party) Government in charging park fees is to keep poor people out of the park so the trails are not so crowded for their wealthy supporters and to derive more funds to subsidize the unethical foreign controlled oil industry that I once shamefully worked for. The oil industry needs to pay its own way and the hundreds of billions of dollars in oil industry subsidies need to stop. The oil industry needs to clean up its own immoral unethical mess.

    The $90 restricted Kananaskis park fee is much higher than the National Park fee which enables one to access many parks across the country. How Conservatively stupid is that?

    We must get rid of the old school undemocratic Jason Kenney as Premier who has never stepped onto a cross country or hiking trail. This Ontarian is not a true Albertan and he does not understand Alberta’s lands or the people. He is a corporatist tax grabber that does not have the intelligence to raise non tax funds for the benefit of Albertans. He is making life hellish for the poor and for medial workers. Soon the poor will not be able to travel out of the cities or towns as they will have no place left to go to afford other than the prairies.

    Corrupt people support corrupt anti democratic oligarchy political parties that reign over the people in a dictatorial undemocratic way. It is time to break the chains of political oligarchy oppression and make Alberta a real democracy to build a better province the way the people want it. Give people the legalized right to vote on Government bills along with citizen initiated legislation. This is what real democracy looks like and it will likely keep park fees at zero.

    • Descending Assiniboine Pass in the dark, on a melt/freeze crust, with wobbly bindings and grizzlies — no finer recipe for critical thinking on all things political!

  2. LISA Jeczmieniowski

    Discount for Seniors?

  3. For those of you who didn’t listen to the press conference there are a few points that stood out. Calling it a conservation pass with an intent to minimize the amount of cars heading into Kananaskis. Nixon was very clear that starting June 1 people should car pool more ( Covid won’t be an issue by then.
    I am very skeptical at the direct impact this will have on trails especially grooming. The 200k raised this winter really only went to offset an already reduced grooming budget. There are future costs coming up that are significantly more than that amount.

  4. Did anyone see the story on Global News where a guy with three vehicles was complaining that he’d have to buy passes for each one? Some people have no sense of shame. (In reality, he’ll only have to buy two passes, but I think there should be a special rule for people with three vehicles; pay triple).

  5. Clear favoritism and privilege afforded to the OHV crowd!

  6. There should be a discount for Seniors

  7. WWBMT

    (What Would Bill Milne Think?)

  8. People should read the press release or watch the video before commenting, or better yet go to https://www.alberta.ca/kananaskis-conservation-pass.aspx. The pass covers ski trail grooming, and that two vehicles can be registered on one pass. There is also provision for “low income” Albertans. The pass will operate much like the ParkPlus system in Calgary. The pass does NOT cover the Canmore Nordic Centre.

    • It does not give discounts or consideration for low income. There is consideration for those on AISH

      • Elaine: From the Globe and Mail’s story this morning …. “ Among those exempt from the fee will be low-income earners and First Nations people. ”. In the afternoon press conference, the Minister explicitly mentioned AISH as one of the criteria for exemption. (You can find that video on the Alberta Government’s YouTube channel).

    • Will there be a poor pass? Lovely

  9. From CBC news, quote:
    “Included in the new investments will be $1 million to begin planning work on upgrades to the Canmore Nordic Centre, the province said.”

  10. Looking at the map of the area affected by the new fee’s, west Bragg Creek is included.

  11. The cost to ski in PLPP has gone from $0 in 2019/20 to $90 in 2021/22. But corporations in Alberta during the same period are paying much less tax… Thanks UCP!

  12. If “winter trail grooming in Kananaskis will be supported by the new pass” means that the grooming at the CNC is going to be covered by this fee, this will actually be a significant cost saving verses the fee charged in previous years

  13. I find it extremely ironic for this government to be touting “environmental concerns” when they would gladly sell off most of the mountains in this province to investors who would just leave their pollution behind.

    Of course, we knew this was coming and I wouldn’t mind so much if the revenues weren’t being handled by an incompetent government. What I would like to know is if they are re-instating the visitor centers as well as re-instating the cross country ski grooming (I’d like proof of this please). I’m sure these fees will help to pay off the money they gave away to industry that ended up fleeing Alberta and leaving taxpayers with the bag.

    I don’t trust this government one bit. I’m still trying to see how they are improving the lives of Albertans. They have no clue what they are doing.

  14. Great to hear this! Jeez you nay sayers! Where does it say you’ll be paying for parking to ski?
    You didnt have to pay this year. It was voluntary.

  15. Coming from Quebec where fees are the norm we have been so blessed up to date

    With the state of garbage lately in K country and the disgusting mess people leave I’m all for it. I feel so bad for parks staff and what they have to deal with

    I wish it would be feasible to have people pass a how to dispose of garbage test (lol) before they come to our beautiful asset that we Albertans have.

  16. Can’t see the forest through the fees.

  17. I wonder how much the success of the grooming fee this winter set the stage for this?
    I suppose that if it does lead to hiring of more conservation officers and parks staff than we will see some benefit. Time will tell.

    Good point Jon – I don’t like the idea that I can’t transfer the pass to another vehicle. To me, this supports the idea that this is more of a cash grab, rather than about improving services and enforcement. To be a bit cheeky, if I ride my bicycle, does that mean I can go for free? 🙂

  18. So, does this mean I will have to pay $15 a day pass, plus $10 for cross country skiing, or $90 annual fee, plus $50 annual fee for skiing? For a government that brags about lowering taxes they sure do love user fees.

    • I suspect so. I think the fee just gets you access. If you want anything else, like grooming, trail development etc, you will need to pay on top of that. In addition this is per vehicle (tied to a specific licence plate) unlike the National Park pass that is transferable between vehicles.

    • You will not be paying to ski as well only at the Nordic Centre

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