Proposed Rouge National Urban Park legislation and plan fail to meet existing environmental standards

Duguid letter to federal environment minister

Brad Duguid’s letter to federal environment minister (click to view PDF).

NGO coalition letter to Ottawa.

NGO Coalition letter to Ottawa (click to view PDF).


The draft Rouge National Urban (NU) Park legislation fails to “meet or exceed” existing Rouge Park, Greenbelt and ORM Policies and their “Ecological Integrity” goal, as the attached letters from Ontario Cabinet Minister Brad Duguid and our NGO coalition indicate.

Please send the following email to the listed federal officials to Help Protect Rouge Park

Step 1: Copy the following contact list into your email “To” window

pm@pm.gc.ca; Minister@ec.gc.ca; colin.carrie.c1a@parl.gc.ca

Step 2: Copy the following contact list into your email “Cc” window
Joe.Oliver@parl.gc.ca; Chris.Alexander.C1@parl.gc.ca;
lisa.raitt@parl.gc.ca; harold.albrecht@parl.gc.ca; john.mckay@parl.gc.ca;
John.McCallum@parl.gc.ca; peter.vanloan.c1@parl.gc.ca; Corneliu.Chisu@parl.gc.ca; CEOParksCanada@pc.gc.ca; alan.latourelle@pc.gc.ca; andrew.campbell@pc.gc.ca; bduguid.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org; leigh@frw.ca; jimrobb@frw.ca

Step 3: Copy the draft letter below into your email, personalize it as you
like, add your name and address at the bottom, and send it.


Dear Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq and Prime Minister Stephen Harper:

In 2013, the federal government agreed to “meet or exceed” Ontario’s Greenbelt, Rouge Park and Oak Ridges Moraine (ORM) policies during the drafting of the legislation and plan for a National Rouge Park.

Unfortunately, the draft National Rouge Park legislation and plan, released in June 2014, fails to “meet or exceed” these provincial policies, threatening to undermine decades of Rouge Park public policy development.

I support the Ontario Government and the many groups and citizens asking the federal government to:

1. “meet or exceed” existing Ontario Greenbelt, Rouge Park & ORM policies;
2. give priority to ecological integrity and science-based park
management;
3. implement Rouge Park’s “main ecological corridor” & plans to improve habitat & water quality;
4. create a 100 km2 national park on public Greenbelt lands linking Lake Ontario to the ORM.

These policies do not require the re-naturalization of all the leased farmlands in Rouge Park.

Existing Rouge Park Plans and adjacent Federal Green Space Preserve Plans have areas zoned for farming and areas zoned for nature and parkland enjoyment.

National Parks are extraordinary public lands where Canadians give priority to mother nature and ecological integrity.

I respectfully ask you to honour your government’s commitment to “meet or exceed” existing provincial policies by giving priority to “ecological integrity” within the legislation and management plan for the national Rouge Park.

I look forward to your favourable reply.

Sincerely, _____________________

Address


Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Jim Robb

for Friends of the Rouge Watershed, 647-891-9550

FRW Brochure Outlines Shortcomings of the Draft Rouge National Urban Park Legislation

FRW Brochure discussing Rouge National Urban Park - 2014-09-02

FRW Brochure discussing Rouge National Urban Park. Click to view PDF.

  1. Fails to ‘meet or exceed’ existing ecological standards.
  2. Does not prioritize ecological integrity.
  3. Does not create the Lake to Moraine ‘main ecological corridor.’
  4. Excludes 48 km 2 of existing Rouge Park and Greenbelt public lands.

Ontario and Cabinet Minister Brad Duguid won’t let Ottawa put Rouge at Risk

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Brad Duguid editorial argues for commitment to Rouge ecosystem, Toronto Star, Sept. 3, 2014

Brad Duguid editorial argues for commitment to Rouge ecosystem, Toronto Star, Sept. 3, 2014

In June, the federal government introduced Bill C-40 to establish Rouge National Urban Park. Unfortunately, that legislation as it stands is silent on the Memorandum of Agreement requirement to meet or exceed provincial standards for ecological integrity.

 

Those amendments to Bill C-40 should explicitly state that Ontario’s existing provincial policies and plans that enhance ecological integrity of the proposed Rouge National Urban Park will be met or exceeded. The amendments should also include a commitment that the federal government will conform to provincial policies such as the Greenbelt Plan (2005), the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and the Big Move.

Major environmental groups applaud Ontario’s refusal to transfer Rouge Park lands

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… the draft federal legislation does not prioritize ecological integrity in park management and it does not honour a January 2013 Memorandum of Agreement signed between Parks Canada and the Ontario government requiring written park policies that ‘meet or exceed provincial policies.’

NGO media statement (September 3, 2014) applauds provincial meet or exceed stance.

NGO media statement (Sept. 3, 2014) applauds provincial meet or exceed stance. Click on image to view PDF.

Third Edition of “How Much Habitat is Enough?”

How Much Habitat is Enough? Third Edition

Click image to download PDF.

This publication FroM Environment CANADA is used in “land use planning, restoration projects and land securement initiatives across the multiple jurisdictions and has become a standard conservation biology and landscape ecology reference.”
Some of this publication’s key recommendations …
  • 30% to 50% minimum forest cover,
  • the greater of 10% wetland cover per watershed or 40% of historic wetland cover,
  • less than 10% impervious cover in a watershed
  • average grassland patches sizes of greater than or equal to 50 hectares.

Environmental coalition recommendations for a healthy Rouge national park

In January this letter from Environmental Defence, Ontario Nature, and Friends of the Rouge Watershed was sent to Canada’s environment minister, park staff, and many MPs in the Greater Toronto Area. It explains why a sustainable and ecologically healthy 100 km2 Rouge national park is necessary if the Rouge watershed is to be adequately protected.

Coalition explains why the park should be bigger

If you need more information about the Rouge watershed, the park, or this concept you can read the articles on this site or get a quick overview from some of the graphical content.

Politicians supporting a 100-square-kilometre Rouge national park

Below are links to recent letters from politicians to Canada’s environment minister that help explain why a sustainable and ecologically healthy 100 km2 Rouge National Park is necessary if the Rouge watershed is to be adequately protected.

April 2014: National Rouge Park Letter from Scarborough Rouge River MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan

2014-03-18: Hon John Mckay Letter to Hon. Leona Aglukkaq – Rouge National Park Strategic Plan & Legislation

2014-03-24: Councillor Karen Stintz- Letter in Support of the Rouge National Park to the Federal Minister of the Environment

If you need more information about the Rouge watershed, the park, or this concept you can read the articles on this site or get a quick overview from our infographic.

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