… 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: UPDATE| Honouring Commitments to Strengthen Rouge National (Urban) Park Legislation
Dear Honourable Catherine McKenna,
Thank you for introducing Bill C-18 to amend the flawed Rouge National Urban Park Act (RNUP Act) and make ecological integrity the top park priority.
I respectfully ask you to honour other important commitments by adopting the following two additional amendments:
- Addition of the words “enhancing, restoring” in section 4 of the RNUP Act.
- New RNUP Act section 9 (2) (a): “support and complement the timely implementation of pre-existing Rouge Park, Greenbelt, Oak Ridges Moraine and Watershed Plans”.
These additional amendments are necessary to:
- honour the “Party Approved” election commitments of 15 GTA candidates elected as Liberal MPs;
- honour the Canada and Ontario agreement to “meet or exceed” Ontario ORM and Greenbelt policies;
- provide the explicit Greenbelt and ORM conformity amendment requested by Ontario.
The implementation of pre-existing Greenbelt, ORM, Rouge Park and Watershed Conservation Plans is necessary to:
- improve Lake Ontario’s health and fulfill the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement;
- mitigate climate change and downstream pollution, flooding and erosion liabilities;
- protect and improve fish and wildlife habitat and biodiversity; and
- improve public access to public park lands in Canada’s most populous and under-protected region.
Approximately 75% of the publicly-owned lands in Rouge Park are currently inaccessible to the public due to subsidized leases to rural residents and farmers and government employees and their families and friends. The primary crops grown on the leased lands in Rouge Park are soybeans and cattle corn for animal feed and fuel additives — not locally available food products.
If this taxpayer subsidized status quo is hastily frozen by 30-year lease extensions, Canadians will continue to be excluded from most of the publicly-owned lands in this national park and Canadians will forfeit:
- $3.5+ billion worth of park ecological services such as mitigation of pollution, climate change and flooding;
- $100+ million due to lease subsidies and the absence of open and competitive bidding for the leases.
Millions of GTA residents are relying on the implementation of Greenbelt, ORM, Rouge Park and Watershed Conservation Plans to buffer the impacts of growth and climate change and protect human health and quality of life.
The implementation of these science-based and democratically-approved Conservation Plans will still leave approximately half of the public lands in Rouge Park available for leasing beyond 2050. Therefore, the federal government has sufficient latitude to provide legislative support for these pre-existing conservation plans while dealing equitably with the people leasing publicly-owned land in this new national park.
Your government can and should demonstrate integrity and create a positive National Rouge Park legacy by providing legislative support for the implementation of the pre-existing Ontario Conservation Plans.
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