Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Statement by environmental groups urges MPs to reject Rouge National Park legislation

November 18, 2014

Statement by environmental groups urges MPs to reject Rouge National Park legislation; Bill C-40 fails to protect the park’s ecological health

Ottawa, ON – MPs are being asked to scrap Bill C-40 after the committee hearings on the Rouge National Urban Park Act rejected all proposed amendments to strengthen the legislation. The current bill is weak and does not offer sufficient protection to the park.

We call on MPs to reject Bill C-40, which fails to establish nature conservation as the priority in park management, ignoring provincial, national and international standards for protected areas. This jeopardizes the government’s own initiative – to establish and manage a Rouge National Urban Park that will protect its natural values for generations.

A more robust legislative framework is needed to ensure Canada’s first national urban park will adequately protect the Rouge – a natural treasure – for present and future generations of Canadians.

Ontario has already informed the federal government that it will not transfer its Rouge Park lands unless the bill is amended to "meet or exceed" the environmental policies of existing Greenbelt and Rouge Park Plans. Bill C-40 clearly fails to meet this test.

If Parliament proceeds with this flawed bill, Ontario's substantial Rouge Park lands (25+ km2) may not be transferred to Parks Canada. The resulting Rouge National Urban Park would be less than half the park's announced size and it will not include the beautiful Rouge Valley system. It will be a park in name only.

The groups issuing this statement are: Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, David Suzuki Foundation, Environmental Defence, Friends of the Rouge Watershed, Ontario Nature, Save the Oak Ridges Moraine Coalition.

To download a copy of the letter to MPs, please click here.

For background information, please click here.

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For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Naomi Carniol, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext 258; 416-570-2878 (cell) ncarniol@environmentaldefence.ca
John Hassell, Ontario Nature Communications Manager, Land line 416-444-8419 ext. 269; 416-786-2171 (cell)
Jim Robb, Friends of the Rouge Watershed, 647-891-9550 jimrobb@frw.ca
Lisa Gue, David Suzuki Foundation, 613-914-0747, lgue@davidsuzuki.org

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