In February many of you reminded the new federal government to keep its Rouge Park promises:

Thank you for thinking globally and acting locally


The Letter …

RE: Integrity requires addition of Section 6(3) in Bill C-18 and Rouge National Urban Park Act

Dear Prime Minister, Ministers and MPs:

Thank you for introducing Bill C-18 to amend the Rouge National Urban Park Act (RNUP Act) and make ecological integrity the top park priority, consistent with existing Rouge Park and national park standards.

Unfortunately, your Government will be undermining ecological and political integrity, if you fail to add the following section 6(3) within Bill C-18 and the RNUP Act: 6(3) Subsection (1) is intended to support and complement the implementation of pre-existing Ontario Greenbelt, Oak Ridges Moraine, Rouge Park and Watershed Conservations Plans.

Section 6(3) is based on the September 2, 2014 demand of the Ontario Government and the following Liberal “party approved” position of 16 eastern GTA candidates, now Liberal Members of Parliament: “I am in favour of amending the Rouge National Urban Park Act to support and complement the implementation of existing land use management and conservation plans undertaken by the province of Ontario.”

Ontario residents are relying on the timely implementation of Ontario’s Greenbelt, Oak Ridges Moraine, Rouge Park and Watershed Conservation Plans to buffer the impacts of growth and climate change. The implementation of these science-based and democratically approved Ontario Conservation Plans is absolutely necessary within RNUP to fulfill federal mandates to:

1) improve watershed health and Great Lakes Water Quality;
2) mitigate growing pollution, flooding and erosion liabilities and climate change risks;
3) improve fish and wildlife habitat, biodiversity and the recovery of species at risk;
4) improve public access to public park lands in Canada’s most under-protected eco-zone;
5) recreate the historic First Nation “Carrying Place Trail” between Lake Ontario and the  Oak Ridges Moraine within the RNUP.

The implementation of Ontario’s Conservation Plans will leave approximately half of Rouge Park’s public lands available for leasing beyond 2050. Therefore, the Federal Government has sufficient latitude to provide legislative support for Ontario’s pre-existing Conservation Plans while dealing equitably with people leasing public lands in this new national park.

Large legislative decisions, like carbon-pollution pricing, and smaller legislative decisions, like the RNUP legislation, will determine the future health of our region and planet.  We hope that years from now you will be able to look back and proudly say: “Our National Rouge Park legislation prioritized ecological integrity and supported the timely implementation of longstanding Ontario Conservation Plans.  We “did the right thing” for Canadians, current and future, and for our planet.”

To demonstrate ecological and political integrity, the above section 6(3) must be included in Bill C-18 and the Rouge National Urban Park Act.



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