OTTAWA, Ont. – Parks Canada has changed its proposed fee hikes for the boating season.

A proposed tripling of fees to use the Rideau Canal Waterway has seen a flood of criticism aimed at Parks Canada. It floated the idea on it’s website earlier this month, and elected officials along the canal met last week to craft a response to the hikes.
Now Parks Canada is introducing two passes, a six day and a season’s pass, addressing the concerns.

If you have a 25 foot power boat and use the full 202 kilometres of the Rideau Canal system, you would pay $180.00 — or 55 per cent more than last year. Under the original proposal, that cost would have been $450.00.

Under Parks Canada’s new proposal, boaters would pay $7.20/foot for a six-day pass and $15/foot for a seasonal pass.

A direct fee per lock station would be charged for those without passes. There is no indication what the new fees will be for paddlers.

Parks Canada hasn’t increased fees along the Rideau Canal since 2008, and says it needs to better balance the cost for users and taxpayers.

The new passes would go into effect in 2014.