Rouge National Urban Park bill strengthens nature conservation

February 22, 2017

OTTAWA – CPAWS welcomed today’s passage at third reading of Bill C-18, which strengthens the Rouge National Urban Park Act to ensure that nature conservation is the first priority for managing the park.

“We are delighted that the Rouge is one step closer to the protection it deserves today”, said Janet Sumner, Executive Director of CPAWS Wildlands League. “The Rouge National Urban Park is a natural jewel in Canada’s largest urban centre. From peregrine falcons to monarch butterflies to butternut trees, this Bill, when passed, will strengthen protection for nature in the park, and also provides greater certainty for the farming community.”

Paddle the Rouge, 2016.

Since the national urban park concept was launched in 2012, CPAWS has consistently called for legislation that prioritizes nature conservation, to meet the international definition of a protected area, and assure strong protection for this amazing natural ecosystem in an urban environment.  The original Rouge National Urban Park Act failed to meet this test.  Bill C-18 fixes the law’s critical weakness by directing that protecting wild nature be the first priority for park management.

CPAWS has shared our enthusiasm about the stronger protection provided by Bill C-18 with both levels of government.

“The Ontario and federal governments worked together to make this important step possible and we are grateful for their leadership”, said Éric Hébert-Daly, CPAWS’ National Executive Director. “We look forward to the Bill passing through the Senate and receiving Royal Assent so that Parks Canada can proceed to develop a park management plan focused on maintaining and restoring the park’s ecological integrity, and Canadians can be assured that nature is well protected rather than worrying about whether it will endure for future generations.”

As the bill goes to the Senate, CPAWS is optimistic that Senators will see the value of Bill C-18 for the future of the Rouge and support its speedy passage.  This will be a great gift to Canadians in this 150th anniversary year.


For more information, contact: Stacy Corneau, 613-569-7226, ext 234 or by email at

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