March 22nd, 2023 - 3:29pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22, 2023
AFTER ALMOST A YEAR LONG DELAY AND WEEKS AWAY FROM THE FINAL VOTE ON OJIBWAY NATIONAL URBAN PARK BILL C-248 TRANSPORT CANADA FINALLY AGREES TO TRANSFER OJIBWAY SHORES FROM WINDSOR PORT AUTHORITY TO PARKS CANADA
(WINDSOR) – Today, Brian Masse MP (Windsor West), along with many residents of Windsor declared victory again with the Monday announcement of title transfer of Ojibway Shores to Parks Canada. The first time was in May 2022 in declaring victory over the Windsor Port Authority when the Minister of the Environment during Question Period announced that Transport Canada has signed an agreement with Parks Canada to transfer Ojibway Shores from the Windsor Port to Parks Canada in the lead up to the second reading vote on Masse’s bill C-248, to establish Ojibway National Urban Park, which passed the House with 169 for the bill and 147 against. Now, after almost a year long delay due to the Windsor Port Authority insisting that taxpayers pay twice for land they already own, the title transfer has finally taken place just weeks before the third reading vote on C-248.
“The land transfer to Parks Canada is a victory for all residents, the City of Windsor, and all the organizations that have called for this to happen. I have been advocating for this to many ministers of Transport and the Environment for five years. I even sent directions on how to do it to the Windsor Port Authority. The federal government has finally acknowledged what has been known for six years and should have been done long ago. This action, while needed and important, is just one more step in the process of establishing Ojibway National Urban Park. I assume this action, which was the second time it was announced in just under a year, was taken yesterday since the House of Commons third reading vote on my bill C-248 to create Ojibway NUP is just weeks away as was they case at the second reading vote when they announced it the first time in May 2022. City taxpayers should not pay twice for land they already own. Unfortunately, the federal government decided all Canadian taxpayers should pay twice instead. This is due to the Windsor Port Authority’s intransigence. At least this not what they first demanded, when they wanted all the community benefits from Gordie Howe Bridge construction. The greed of Port has been contained but not eliminated which is what the liberal government should have done a year ago,” Masse stated.
The proposed Ojibway National Urban Park (NUP) would include Ojibway Park, Spring Garden Natural Area, Black Oak Heritage Park, the Tallgrass Prairie Park, Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve, and Ojibway Shores. Since Masse introduced the C-248 back in February 2022, the City of Windsor, Caldwell First Nation, Wildlands league, and local environment groups, such as Friends of Ojibway, have publicly supported the legislation and testified at the House of Commons Environment committee in favour of the bill. C-248 had the support of the entire Bloc party, Green Party, Conservative party, the NDP, and two liberal MPs at its second reading vote.
“The Port authority’s obstruction and grasping for taxpayer money resulted in a year long delay. But the Port has delayed for ten years on doing anything on shoreline erosion. The federal government needs to move on and finalize the title transfer with the City of Windsor, finalize co-management agreements with indigenous communities, finalize the parks management plans and funding. There is a lot of work to do. The bill is going to be passed and moved to the Senate. We cannot have more delays like this as demonstrated with Ojibway Shores title transfer. Ojibway National Urban Park needs to open before the Gordie Howe Bridge does” stated Masse.
For more information contact Brian Masse 519-255-1631 or email@example.com