April 17th, 2023 - 8:02pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2023
VICTORY: PROVINCE OF ONTARIO AGREES TO TRANSFER OJIBWAY PRAIRIE PROVINCIAL NATURE RESERVE TO PARKS CANADA TO HELP CREATE OJIBWAY NATIONAL URBAN PARK
(OTTAWA) – Today, Brian Masse’s MP (Windsor West), congratulated the Province of Ontario on agreeing to transfer Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve to help establish Ojibway National Urban Park (ONUP) in the lead up to the third reading vote on Bill C-248, which would establish ONUP, in the House of Commons (HOC) on April 26th. Third reading is the last step in the HOC in the legislative process for a bill which after it passes goes on to the Senate.
“The Province of Ontario’s announcement today of their intention to transfer Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve to Parks Canada to be part of ONUP is a significant achievement. I want to thank the Ontario Environment Minister for listening to the community and making this decision. This is an important milestone in the process of creating the ONUP. The efforts of Chief Duckworth and Caldwell First Nation led to this, as the Minister acknowledged. I want to thank Chief Duckworth and Caldwell First Nation who have been an essential partner on this ONUP endeavour from the very beginning. The years long tireless work and advocacy of MPP Lisa Gretzky (Windsor West) contributed this, especially with her motion in the legislature, which brought about a unanimous vote in favour of ONUP at Queens Park as part of another motion by MPP Andrew Dowie (Windsor-Tecumseh), as he joined the efforts for ONUP. I want to thank the work of the MPPs for their cross-party efforts in making this happen. The bill to establish ONUP 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 who brought this bill to the House of Commons. Today, is another step in the process. With the government now supporting the bill it will achieve unanimous support in the House. This can hopefully speed up action in the Senate where there is already support for the bill. Parks Canada should accelerate the finalizing of the transfer agreements with the City, the Province, the co-management agreement with the Indigenous community, and the parks management plan. Additionally, Parks Canada has committed to completing these agreements and opening the park before the Gordie Howe Bridge opens. Time to get things done. ” stated Masse.