Canada's first urban national park, the Rouge National Urban Park in the
Greater Toronto Area to offer unprecedented opportunities for Canadians
to connect with nature
OTTAWA, June 13, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of
the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced
today the tabling of a bill to formally establish Rouge National Urban
Park in the Greater Toronto Area.
With the tabling of this historic legislation, the Government of Canada
continues to build on its record as a world leader in conservation. The
creation of Canada's first urban national park directly supports the
National Conservation Plan by providing 20% of Canada's population who
live within one hour of the park the opportunity to connect with
The Rouge National Urban Park Act will create Canada's first national urban park, unique among protected
areas in Canada. The Rouge National Urban Park will be 16 times larger
than Central park in New York, contains stricter environmental
protections, and protects an important ecosystem in the heart of
Canada's largest urban centre. The establishment of this park is just
another example of the Government of Canada's commitment to conserve
and restore our lands and waters and connect Canadians to our natural
The Rouge National Urban Park possesses an unparalleled combination of
natural and cultural features, including more than 10,000 years of rich
human history, countless species of flora and fauna, and a vibrant
farming community. The park's urban context brings unprecedented
accessibility for Canadians to learn about the park and all of Canada's
protected heritage areas, which will be enhanced by multiple access
points and a strong sense of arrival and welcome.
The park's existence is witness to years of vision and hard work by
citizen organizations and governments. The new park's public profile,
policy framework, and management approach will build on nearly three
decades of park protection and betterment by governments,
non-governmental organizations, and volunteers.
Canada's Economic Action Plan 2012 provided funding of $143.7 million
over 10 years, and $7.6 million annually thereafter, to support the
creation and operation of the national urban park.
20% of Canada's population lives within one hour of the Rouge.
The Rouge is 16 times larger than Central Park in New York City.
The Rouge is a biodiversity hotspot - approximately 1,700 species of
plants, birds, fish, mammals, insects, amphibians and other species
have been observed in the Rouge.
Parks Canada has involved more than 100 provincial, municipal,
Aboriginal and community stakeholders and received comments from nearly
ten thousand Canadians excited and encouraged by the creation of Rouge
National Urban Park.
The creation of Rouge National Urban Park supports the Government's
National Conservation Plan by connecting Canadians with nature, as well
as through conservation and restoration activities.
Since 2006, the Government of Canada has added an area nearly twice the
size of Vancouver Island to the network of federal protected areas.
In just the past month, the Government of Canada has announced Canada's
National Conservation Plan, tabled legislation to create two national
parks (Nááts'ihch'oh and Rouge), announced funding for 85 community
conservation projects across the country, and announced the creation of
Canada's first-ever mandatory national emission standards for major
industries which will allow Canadians to enjoy cleaner air.
"Our Government is proud to table historic legislation to create Rouge
National Urban Park, a Canadian first. This legislation provides the
highest level of protection in the history of the Greater Toronto Area
and is a testament to our Government's strong commitment to conserving
Canada's natural spaces and connecting Canadians to nature as
highlighted in the National Conservation Plan."
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment and Minister
responsible for Parks Canada
Backgrounder: Rouge National Urban Park Act
Image with caption: "A monarch caterpillar from the Rouge Valley. (CNW Group/Parks Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140613_C7024_PHOTO_EN_41406.jpg
SOURCE: Parks Canada
For further information:
Office of the Minister of the Environment