With Canada Day less than a week away, the Ontario government has decided on a drastically more limited approach to the celebration.
Doug Ford’s government has announced the Ontario legislature will not host a Canada Day celebration this year, due to low attendance and hefty costs totalling approximately $400,000.
Instead, the government has decided to offer free admission for the first 500 people to 10 Canada Day attractions in the province, which will cost about $80,000.
"Instead of hosting a single event at Queen's Park, we are providing free admission for thousands of people to Canada Day events across the province," Ford's executive director of communications Laryssa Waler said in a statement to The Canadian Press. "Ontario families should have the ability to celebrate Canada Day with us, regardless of where in the province they live."
The free Canada Day event locations are:
Ontario Science Centre in Toronto
Cinesphere at Ontario Place in Toronto
Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto
Fort William Historical Park in Thunder Bay
Huronia Historical Parks in Midland and Penetanguishene
St. Lawrence Parks Commission in Morrisburg
Butterfly conservatory in Niagara Falls
Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington
McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Vaughan
Science North in Sudbury
Last year, approximately 5,000 people attended the Queen’s Park event, which has historically included performances, a 21-gun salute, and various crafts and activities for children.
Once Ontarians heard of the cancellation, many took to social media to share their thoughts on the new approach by the provincial government:
You forgot to mention that you have canceled Canada Day celebrations at Queens Park. Ontario will be the only province in Canada without something at the provincial capital.— Bob Ernest (@bobernest) June 25, 2019
Are you proud of that?
1.7 trillion Canadian debt, every dollar helps. We need good doctors and nurses and police everything else is not as important.— moodi (@moodabc12345) June 25, 2019
We are ALL hoping that Doug Ford will attend of course.— Yvonne (@yvonne4tn) June 25, 2019
After all it is a Canada Day celebration for ALL Ontario not just for the first 500 lucky people at the 10 designated spots in Ontario.
Just remember it is BYOB
A shame about cancelling Queen's Park Canada Day festivities.— Kathryn Woodcock (@safeandsilent) June 25, 2019
I look back fondly on Canada Day event in 1993 when I received the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship at the big hoopla event at Queen's Park -- it meant a lot to be connected as a Province.https://t.co/eguRZLnEuZ
Ford saved $400,000 so far when he canceled the declining Canada Day celebrations at the Ontario legislative. He instead is giving back to the kids of the province by giving them free access to places like Ontario Pl, Botanical Gardens, a/ historical parks to learn Cda history. https://t.co/aSPX9MreQA— NoirB (@NoirB6) June 24, 2019
@JustinTrudeau are you really going to let Ford cancel Canada Day at Queens Park. This is gone to far. He is destroying Ontario with all his cuts to programs. But to cancel Canada Day in Ontario, which Ottawa is part off, is insane— Barb Brand (@BarbBrand2) June 25, 2019
Dear good people of Ontario,— Thomas, Prince of Whales (@Thomas_Duncan) June 24, 2019
If you have the financial means to afford admission, please stay away on Canada Day and let those who *need* to take advantage of $0 admission enjoy themselves without it being a madhouse full of people.
The Ontario PC party have cancelled the Queen's Park CANADA DAY celebration. What a shameful, entitled, bunch of ignoramuses. They know that Toronto is the capital city of Ontario...right? #onpoli #community #CanadaDay— Kevin Frank (@KWalterFrank) June 24, 2019
What do you think of the Ontario government cancelling Canada Day celebrations at Queen’s Park this year? Vote in the poll above and leave your thoughts in the comments below.