TORONTO – On Monday April 17th, the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, Windsor and the Town of LaSalle made significant land announcements towards building Ojibway National Urban Park. Canada completed the transfer of Ojibway Shores from Transport Canada to Parks Canada and Ontario agreed to transfer 64 hectares of Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve to Parks Canada. Also, the City of Windsor revealed the strategic purchase of a private parcel near Ojibway Nature Centre to be added and the town of LaSalle is offering large parks for inclusion. Meanwhile, Bill C-248 advances to third reading April 26 to legally establish the new National Urban Park. The new park is supported by Caldwell First Nation and Walpole Island First Nation.
‘These announcements are a recognition of the comprehensive support for a new National Urban Park for Windsor and area’, says Janet Sumner, Executive Director of Wildlands League. ‘We thank Federal Ministers Steven Guilbeault (Environment and Climate Change) and Omar Alghabra (Transport) for securing Ojibway shores under Parks Canada. Congratulations to Ontario Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks, David Piccini, for listening to the community and transferring Ojibway Prairie.’ Continues Sumner, ‘We applaud the City of Windsor and Town of LaSalle for a land purchase and offer that will continue to build Ojibway and create a strong network of ecological connectivity’.
‘Windsor is home to the Tallgrass Prairie, the most endangered ecosystem in Canada containing more rare species than anywhere else in Ontario’, adds Dave Pearce, Wildlands Leagues Senior Forest Conservation Manager. ‘This treasure is also the most resilient to a warming climate and extreme weather. Including key properties in Ojibway National Urban Park is crucial. This new node of protection opens opportunities to restore, protect and connect the natural landscapes in and around Windsor’, observes Pearce.
MP Brian Masse’s private members Bill C-248 to establish Ojibway NUP moves forward to Third Reading next week. With support from the Liberal government and all opposition parties, the bill is poised to achieve unanimous consent in the House.
“Brian Masse has been a champion for Ojibway National Urban Park. We commend the support of MPP Lisa Gretzky for transferring the provincial lands. The steadfast support of Chief Mary Duckworth (Caldwell First Nation) and Walpole Island First Nation are key to creating a Park that will help reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples,’ says Sumner.
Wildlands League expresses encouragement that all levels of government are collaborating on this stage of park establishment. The organization is working so that Windsor will be one of many municipalities across Canada to create a strong network of protection. ‘It’s the only way to halt and reverse biodiversity loss while fighting climate change’, concludes Sumner.
Wildlands League is one of Canada’s pre-eminent conservation organizations.
We are strategists and policy experts standing up for nature. Our goal is to make sure at least half of the country is protected forever. We work at the intersection of climate change and nature, recognizing the overlapping nature of these existential threats to life on the planet.
Wildlands both, tackles irresponsible development that threatens precious rivers, lakes, wildlife habitat and carbon reserves; and collaborates with communities, governments, Indigenous Nations, scientists and progressive industry to protect nature.
We are a not-for-profit charity that has been working in the public interest since 1968.
Janet Sumner, Executive Director