CPAWS reacts to tabling of Rouge National Urban Park Bill
Ottawa -- The tabling of Bill C-40 in the House of Commons to formally establish Rouge National Urban Park in the Greater Toronto Area was announced on Friday, June 13. The introduction of Bill C-40 is an important step forward for the park, and CPAWS will be closely examining the draft legislation in detail to ensure that it will adequately protect this remarkable urban-based ecosystem.
CPAWS recognizes and supports the importance of Rouge National Urban Park in connecting urban Canadians to nature and encouraging them to become nature stewards. It is imperative, however, that conservation is prioritized in the park’s legislation and management plan to ensure this remarkable natural area and its wildlife are not “loved to death” over time. Putting nature conservation first is also consistent with the international definition and guidance for protected areas.
On first glance, it’s not clear if the Bill accomplishes this as it only requires the Minister to take the health of park ecosystems and wildlife “into consideration” in park management. We also note there is very little information provided about how agriculture will be managed in the park.
CPAWS hopes to participate in the Parliamentary process reviewing Bill C-40 in the fall.
CPAWS also continues to highlight the importance of ensuring federally owned “Pickering Lands” that lie adjacent to the park and within Ontario’s Greenbelt and Oak Ridges Moraine remain protected. In 2013, Transport Canada announced potential commercial and industrial development for these lands. If they are developed, one of the last intact wildlife corridors running from Lake Ontario to the Oak Ridges Moraine would be compromised.
Contact: Dave Pearce, email@example.com