Statement from Tim Gray, Executive Director, Environmental Defence
Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Huron-Wendat – Today, Steven Guilbeault, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced a new study to examine existing and new threats to Rouge National Park.
This study is needed due to the Ontario government’s decision to remove 4,700 acres of land from the protection of the Greenbelt directly adjacent to Rouge National Park. The province’s action left the federal government with no choice but to act. The ecological integrity of the park, federally listed endangered species, indigenous rights, farming and action on climate change are just some of the values put at risk by the provincial government’s decision to remove the legislated protections for the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve (DRAP) and to remove these lands from the Greenbelt.
“Premier Ford left Minister Guilbeault with no choice but to act to protect key ecological, cultural and economic values within and surrounding Rouge National Park. The province’s reckless actions require a thorough evaluation and then federal action to protect values of national and international significance,” said Tim Gray.
“There are no good reasons for the provincial government to have broken their promise to protect the Greenbelt. Nowhere is this more true than for the farms, forests and wetlands of DRAP. Fortunately, these lands could now have a protected future instead of being bulldozed for car-dependent sprawl.”
In addition to the DRAP lands, there are adjacent and nearby lands owned by Transport Canada and the Toronto Region Conservation Authority that should be considered in the study for inclusion in an expanded Rouge National Park for the benefit of all Canadians.
“We, and millions of other Ontarians, look forward to working with the federal government to ensure that all the values of Rouge National Park, DRAP and other surrounding lands are protected in perpetuity.”
ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.
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