Think Globally, Act Locally
Locally, a survey of candidates in 16 eastern GTA ridings by Friends of the Rouge Watershed shows that most candidates support amendments that would strengthen the Rouge National Park legislation and Plan by:
- Implementing existing Rouge Park, Watershed, Greenbelt and ORM Conservation Plans;
- Giving priority to the restoration and maintenance of ecological integrity in Rouge Park;
- Implementing the Greenbelt / Rouge Park “main ecological corridor” and science-based habitat recommendations;
- Enlarging Rouge Park to 100+ km2 by including additional public parklands and Greenbelt lands;
- Removing the dangerous misnomer “Urban” from the park name.
With respect to the 16 ridings surveyed and the above amendments to the federal Rouge Park legislation and Plan:
- The NDP Party and 14 NDP candidates said “yes” to all five questions;
- One NDP candidate responded in favour of questions 1 through 4;
- One NDP candidate did not reply;
- Ten Liberal candidates said “yes” to all five questions;
- Six Liberal candidates responded in favour of questions 1 through 4;
- The Green Party and all four Green candidates contacted said “yes” to all five questions;
- The Conservative Party and its candidates did not reply.
“It is encouraging that so many federal candidates are willing to act locally to amend the Rouge National Park legislation to prioritize ecological integrity and respect conservation science” says FRW President Kevin O’Connor.
“There is a clear need to implement existing Rouge Park, Greenbelt, ORM and watershed plans to improve water quality and biodiversity, and combat dangerous pollution, climate change and flooding risks.” says Jim Robb of FRW.
Five Rouge National Park Questions Posed to Candidates
Question 1: If elected, will you support amendments to the Rouge National Urban Park Act and draft park management plan to support the implementation of the: Greenbelt Act and Plan (2005); Oak Ridges Moraine (ORM) Conservation Act (2001) and Plan (2002); Rouge Park Management Plan (1994) and Rouge North Management Plan (2001); Little Rouge Corridor Management Plan (2007); Rouge Park Natural Heritage Action Plan (2008); and Rouge (2007) & Duffins (2003) Watershed Plans.
Question 2: If elected, will you support the following amended wording for section 6(1) of the Rouge National Urban Park Act as proposed in the Bill introduced by MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan? “The Minister must, when considering any aspect of the management of the Park, give priority to the restoration and maintenance of ecological integrity through the protection and restoration of natural resources and natural processes, while also giving consideration to cultural heritage, farming and infrastructure needs.”
Question 3: If elected, will you support amendments to the Rouge National Urban Park Act and management plan to ensure timely implementation of the Greenbelt and Rouge Park North “main ecological corridor” and Environment Canada’s science-based recommendations for improving biological diversity and water quality?
Question 4: If elected, will you support enlarging the National Rouge Park to 100+ km2 by including existing Rouge Valley and Park lands in Scarborough and Markham, and 24 km2 of additional federal lands in Pickering to shrink the Pickering Airport Zone?
Question 5: If elected, will you support amending the Rouge National Urban Park Act to remove the dangerous misnomer “Urban” from the park name.
Attached please find:
- Copies of Green, NDP and Liberal responses to the five questions
- The Rouge Park Questions with supporting background information
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Jim Robb, Friends of the Rouge Watershed Phone: 647-891-9550, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org