Official launch of public consultations immediately follows tabling of historic legislation creating
Canada's first national urban park
TORONTO, June 21, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, Mr. Corneliu Chisu, Member of Parliament for Pickering—Scarborough East, on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, launched a public consultation process for Rouge National Urban Park's draft management plan, the park's first and primary guiding document.
Located one hour's driving distance from approximately 20% of Canada's population, Rouge National Urban Park delivers on the key priorities of the Government of Canada's National Conservation Plan by conserving and restoring our lands and waters and by providing visitors opportunities to connect with Canada's natural, cultural and agricultural heritage without having to travel far from home. Once fully established, the park will benefit families and residents with an expanded trail network, volunteer and stewardship opportunities, award-winning Parks Canada visitor and educational programming, new conservation and restoration initiatives, and enhanced visitor and recreational opportunities.
The release of the draft management plan follows the Government's tabling of historic legislation on June 13 to create Rouge National Urban Park, Canada's first national urban park and the Greater Toronto Area's first nationally-protected area.
At a ceremony at Glen Rouge Campground, MP Chisu invited members of the Canadian public and stakeholders to participate in upcoming open houses, community events and meetings in Toronto, Markham and Pickering, and to provide feedback online or by mail on future park priorities through the management plan.
After the announcement, MP Chisu participated in Parks Canada's sold out Learn-to-Camp event in Glen Rouge Campground, partaking in campfire-making, tent and hiking workshops with new and urban Canadians.
- With Rouge National Urban Park, the Government will create Canada's first national urban park, the newest category of protected area in Canada managed by Parks Canada, joining 44 national parks, 167 national historic sites and four national marine conservation areas.
- 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 Rouge National Urban Park.
- Once finalized, the management plan will be the guiding document for managing Rouge National Urban Park over the next 10 years. In addition to setting targets and priorities for the park, it will lay out a framework for what Canada's first national urban park will look like. It will also outline the kinds of experiences parks visitors and volunteers can partake in to connect with nature, culture and agriculture.
- Parks Canada has involved more than 100 provincial, municipal, Aboriginal and community stakeholder groups and received comments from nearly 10,000 Canadians to date excited and encouraged by the creation of Rouge National Urban Park.
- The new national urban park provides the Rouge Valley with its highest level of protection in its history and is more than 16 times the size of New York's Central Park.
- Since 2006, the Government of Canada has added an area nearly twice the size of Vancouver Island to the network of federal protected areas.
"Our Government continues to work closely with partners, groups and individuals in the establishment and management of Rouge National Urban Park. Under our Government's National Conservation Plan, the establishment of Canada's first national urban park will help many Canadians in the Toronto area connect with their natural heritage. I invite all Canadians to be a part of history and get involved in the consultation process for Rouge National Urban Park's first management plan."
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
"Our Government's National Conservation Plan encourages taking practical action to connect Canadians to nature, which is exactly what the creation of the Rouge National Urban Park does. In addition, the introduction of Parks Canada programming such as Learn-to Camp are enhancing visitor experiences and facilitating personal connections with our national parks."
Corneliu Chisu, Member of Parliament for Pickering—Scarborough East
"The Rouge National Urban Park Management Plan is the exciting next step in the creation of Canada's first National Urban Park. An integral part of the plan is respecting farmers who have been, and continue to be, the best stewards of the lands within the Rouge Valley. While recognizing the importance of local farming, the Rouge National Urban Park Management Plan casts a superior level of environmental protection across the entire area - protection for which, many have long advocated."
Paul Calandra, Member of Parliament for Oak Ridges—Markham
SOURCE: Parks Canada
For further information: Omar McDadi, External Relations Manager, Rouge National Urban Park, Parks Canada, 416-264-2022