… ask your new federal government to keep its promise with these quick and simple steps:
- Click the button to create an email populated with key contacts.
- Copy the letter below into your email, personalize it if you like.
- Add your name and municipality and send your email.
- Email your friends and ask them to visit rougenationalparkfriends.com.
Thank you for thinking globally and acting locally
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The Letter …
Re: Amending the National Rouge Park Legislation to Prioritize Ecological Integrity
Dear Prime Minister, Ministers and MPs:
Congratulations on your recent election. Thank you to the current government for promising to utilize “scientific evidence and the precautionary principle” to better protect our environment, climate, health and future.
I greatly appreciate that three federal parties (Liberal, NDP and Green) agree with the need to amend the National Rouge Park legislation and draft management plan to:
- make “the restoration and maintenance of ecological integrity the top priority”;
- support and implement Ontario Greenbelt, Rouge Park, Watershed and Oak Ridges Moraine (ORM) Plans;
- implement science-based federal guidelines for watershed, habitat and Great Lakes health; and
- include additional public lands to help achieve a 100+ square kilometre National Rouge Park.
Private Member’s Bill C-696 provides a basis for amending the park legislation and it can be improved by removing the dangerous misnomer “Urban” from the park name. Rouge Park is meant to remain natural and rural – the exact opposite of urban. The danger of the “Urban Park” template is revealed by Downsview National Urban Park which has plans to convert federal public park lands into thousands of private condominium units and expensive manicured landscapes.
Although the word urban describes land uses outside the park, it misrepresents Rouge Park’s natural and rural character, its nationally significant ecological and cultural features and its public enjoyment opportunities. Rouge Park is located within Canada’s most endangered habitat zone – the Carolinian and Mixed Woodland Zone – home to one third of Canada’s endangered species. Therefore, Rouge Park has greater existing and potential biological diversity than almost any other Canadian national park. It also has nationally significant aboriginal and pioneer legacies and two national historic sites. Remarkably, the proposed National Rouge Park is larger than five existing national parks and it permanently connects with 7,200 square kilometres of Ontario Greenbelt lands.
The prioritization of ecological integrity and the implementation of existing Greenbelt, ORM, Rouge Park and watershed plans can occur while also supporting environmentally sustainable farming on a reasonable amount of Rouge Park’s publicly owned park lands. For example, the Rouge Park “main ecological corridor” is less than twenty percent the average park width. Existing Rouge Park Plans, and Rouge River and Duffins Creek Watershed Plans, identify areas for continued farming as well as areas for improving flood control, water quality, habitat and public access to public park lands.
To overcome the growing global challenges of costly climatic extremes, health damaging pollution and species extinction, we must all think globally and act locally. With that in mind, Canadians need your help to create a 100+ square kilometre National Rouge Park which prioritizes the restoration and maintenance of ecological integrity.
I look forward to hearing from you about your plans to follow through with the above commitments and opportunities to amend the National Rouge Park legislation and draft management plan.
Your name and municipality or riding