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February 9, 2022

MASSE INTRODUCES BILL TO ESTABLISH OJIBWAY NATIONAL URBAN PARK: The legislation is guaranteed a vote in this session of Parliament

(WINDSOR) – Today, Brian Masse MP (Windsor West), was joined by Rick Labonte of the Unifor Local 444 Environment Committee, at the Ojibway Nature Centre, as he announced the introduction of his private members’ bill (PMB) to establish Ojibway National Urban Park.

“The introduction of this bill to establish Ojibway National Park is the culmination of years, if not decades, of work by many residents of this region fighting to protect this unique ecosystem in one of the most heavily developed areas in the country. It is a real privilege and honour to be the one to finally present the legislation in the House of Commons that so many people locally, nationally, and internationally want to see become law and have this environmental gem be protected forever,” stated Masse.

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, a vital 33-acre greenspace and the last remaining, undeveloped natural shoreline in Windsor-Detroit. It is home to hundreds of endangered species that rely on migration through surrounding local parks for survival. If connected, this area of approximately 900 acres, including the Detroit River could become one of North America`s treasures. It serves not only as a home and larger ecosystem to these species, but also provides mitigation of flooding due to climate change and natural heritage areas that our community can enjoy, appreciate, and use for healthy living space and ecotourism.

“Establishing Ojibway National Urban Park, not only preserves the last remaining shoreline and protects remnants of a rare ecosystem but underscores also how important it is to have a natural presence that has been unchanged by humans within a city. This is what makes it even more unique,” stated Chief Mary Duckworth of Caldwell First Nation.

“‘Save Ojibway Shores’ has been on our radar for a long time. It is fantastic to hear that Ojibway Shores will be on the map as a part of a national urban park. To have this legislation finally be introduced is music to our ears. There was so much work done behind the scenes, our community should be proud of all of those involved,” stated Rick Labonte, Unifor Local 444 Environment representative.

On August 27, 2019, a townhall was held in Windsor where the idea of Ojibway NUP, modelled on the Rouge NUP, was formally discussed by many local, national, and international organizations, including grass roots groups such as Friends of Ojibway, Friends of the Rouge, the US Audubon society, the Detroit International Wildlife Refuge, the Wildlands League, scientists, former conservation workers, unions, former city parks directors, and many individual citizens. It is also supported by Caldwell First Nation. Over the past two and a half years a consensus has developed among residents and local, national, and international environmental organizations for all these publicly owned properties, parks, and preserves be combined into a National Urban Park. The results have been that all Windsor municipal, provincial, and federal officials have committed to this.

“Nature unites us. Being in nature, having access to nature and working on projects to protect and restore nature heals us. Together, moving forward with legislation to create a new national urban park in Windsor, we can restore, protect and connect the natural landscapes of this great city. A city on the front lines of the of the extinction crisis and the climate emergency,” stated Janet Sumner, Executive Director of the Wildlands League.

“This is the final piece of puzzle to making this park a reality. Drawing number 7 on PMB order guarantees a vote in this session of parliament so the expectations are high for this happen. All those years of work by so many people across this city and country. Maybe luck too since in the last parliament my former sports betting bill was number 7 as well and it became the law of the land,” Masse stated.


For more information contact Mohummed Peer 519-982-8816

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