Support a 100 square kilometre National Rouge Park with ecological integrity

Support a 100 square kilometre national Rouge park with ecological integrity with these quick and simple steps:

  1. Click the button and follow the steps to create an email populated with key contacts, a subject line, and salutation.create email
  2. Copy the letter below into your email, personalize it if you like, and add your name
  3. Send your email
  4. Email your friends and ask them to visit rougenationalparkfriends.com and send an email of their own

Thank you for thinking globally and acting locally for a healthier environment and future

Note: If for any reason pressing the button fails to generate an email for you, create your own and ensure it goes to pm@pm.gc.ca; thomas.mulcair@parl.gc.ca; justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca; info@frw.ca

The Letter …

Dear MPs and Candidates:

The Rouge National Urban Park Act ignores environmental science, policies and commitments, and the input of thousands of Canadians, 106 MPs and many respected environmental groups. The Rouge National Urban Park Act merely takes “into consideration the natural ecosystem” – a dangerous undermining of existing Greenbelt, Rouge Park and Watershed policies which prioritize the protection and restoration of “ecological integrity”.

According to Parks Canada’s former chief scientist, the federal Rouge Park legislation “falls considerably short” of accepted standards for protected areas, urban or wilderness. Incredibly, the federal park plan ignores Environment Canada’s own science-based recommendations for improving biological diversity, watershed health and water quality.

Consequently, the Rouge National Urban Park Act and draft plan need to be amended to:
1. Prioritize the protection and restoration of ecological integrity and watershed health;
2. Strengthen and implement existing Greenbelt, Rouge Park and Watershed Plans;
3. Implement the Greenbelt “main ecological corridor” and Environment Canada’s science based recommendations in the federal publication “How Much Habitat is Enough”;
4. Include existing parklands and nearby federal lands to create a 100+ km2 Park linking Lake Ontario to the Oak Ridges Moraine.

The federal government has tried to justify its weak park legislation by citing Rouge Park’s near urban setting, infra-structure and agricultural leases. However, many national parks have towns, highways and leased lands – and they still prioritize “ecological integrity”.

Rouge Park has greater biodiversity than almost any other Canadian national park. To ensure the park survives and the ecosystem thrives, we need to prioritize ecological integrity and provide for reasonable farming, infrastructure and park visitor needs. Whether far wilderness or near urban, national parks are extra-ordinary public lands where Canadians justifiably prioritize ecological integrity.

If we undermine environmental science, policies and commitments, we will suffer from increasingly costly climatic extremes and harm to ecosystem, watershed and human health.

Will you support the above amendments to create a healthy 100 km2 National Rouge Park?

Sincerely,

Name

Address

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.

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