Ontario government providing free access to provincial parks to select residents
The provincial government is attempting to help members of the Canadian Armed Forces find peace while in their native country by granting them more access to nature and green spaces.
As of Remembrance Day, veterans and current members of the Armed Forces will have free daytime access to Ontario Parks--this is just one of the steps the Ontario government is taking to show appreciation for former and currently serving members of the Armed Forces.
“Ontarians are grateful for the service of the brave heroes in uniform and of those heroes who have served our great country in the past,” Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, said in a news release.
“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,” he continued.
Spending time in nature has a significant impact on a person’s health--it cuts the risk of heart disease by 50 per cent, it reduces stress and the risk of mental illness, and it helps to combat chronic disease.
“Ontario Command of The Royal Canadian Legion is pleased with this announcement by our provincial government! Nature and the great outdoors is most cherished by veterans and military members,” Garry Pond, Ontario provincial president of the Royal Canadian Legion, said.
“The Royal Canadian Legion has long been advocating for government to improve research, care and access to services and supports for Operational Stress Injuries. We thank the Ontario government for implementing this initiative. It’s a step forward in helping de-stigmatize mental health in the military and this news should be well received by our veteran community,” he continued.
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