June 8th, 2022 - 8:38pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 8, 2022
VICTORY: MASSE’S BILL TO CREATE OJIBWAY NATIONAL URBAN PARK PASSED IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS TODAY
(OTTAWA) – Today, Brian Masse’s MP (Windsor West), private members’ bill C-248 to establish Ojibway National Urban Park passed second reading in the House of Commons (HOC) in a vote of 169 for the bill and 147 against. The bill had the support of the Bloc, Green Party, Conservative party, the NDP, and two liberal MPs.
“The 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 has been a real privilege to be the one in the House of Commons on the bill, but this victory belongs to so many, from Caldwell First Nation to local residents and environmental groups, from scientists and the City of Windsor, and so many more. So, thank you! Your work has paid off,” 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.
On August 27, 2019, a townhall was held in Windsor where the idea of Ojibway NUP was formally discussed by many local, national, and international organizations, and many individual citizens. It is also supported by Caldwell First Nation. Over the past two and a half years a consensus has developed 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. Local Essex MP, Conservative Chris Lewis, spoke in favour of the bill in the debate.
Caldwell First Nation, the City of Windsor and the Wildlands League had all written letters to all MPs and the federal government stating they support the passage of C-248. Additionally, on May 12 in the House of Commons, the Minister of the Environment announced that Transport Canada has signed an agreement with Parks Canada to transfer Ojibway Shores from the Windsor Port to Parks Canada as part of the process of creating Ojibway National Urban Park. The federal government has finally acknowledged what has been known for five years. This action, while needed and important, was taken in anticipation of the positive vote for bill C-248 today.
“This is an essential step in making this park a reality. Now it goes to the HOC Environment Committee where Caldwell First Nation, Windsor residents, scientists, environmental groups, the City of Windsor, and the tourism sector will be able to tell the Members of Parliament how important Ojibway NUP will be. I want to thank my colleagues from all parties for their support. All those years of work by so many people across this city and country brought this day about,” Masse stated. -30-
For more information contact Mohummed Peer 519-982-8816.