PICKERING, ON, June 11, 2013 /CNW/ - A responsible, balanced approach
was unveiled today by the Harper government for the development of the
federally-owned Pickering Lands, which sets aside land for a future
airport, some economic development and the creation of Rouge National
The announcement was made on the Pickering Lands by the Honourable Jim
Flaherty, Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Greater
Toronto Area (GTA) and the Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of
Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada.
"For residents of Durham Region and the GTA, the Harper government is
ending decades of uncertainty about the future of the Pickering Lands,"
said Minister Flaherty. "There will be land for an airport, there will
be urban and industrial development and there will be considerable
green space on these lands. We are striking a responsible balance that
will allow us to preserve our quality of life, while creating jobs and
long-term prosperity in Durham Region and the GTA. With the Buttonville
Airport closing, with Highway 407 being extended eastward, and now
clarity around the Pickering Lands, Durham Region is well positioned to
be a hub for transportation, business development and job creation."
"As we protect land for a future airport, a considerable tract of land
will also be made available for job-creating development that will
bring new opportunities to Pickering and Durham Region," said Minister
Flaherty on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Minister of the Economic
Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister of
As part of the Harper government's continuing commitment to plan for,
protect and responsibly manage the federally owned Pickering Lands and
promote the region's continued development and economic prosperity,
Transport Canada plans to transfer nearly 5,000 acres from these lands
to Parks Canada towards the creation of Rouge National Urban Park.
The new park will be more than 13 times the size of Stanley Park in
"As announced in the 2011 Speech from the Throne and Economic Action
Plan 2012, our government is working with provincial, regional,
municipal, Aboriginal and community partners towards the creation of a
national urban park in the Rouge Valley," said Minister Kent. "With federal and provincial commitments for lands, we
are not one, but two steps closer to creating a true 'Canadian first'
with Rouge National Urban Park - a place where nature, culture and
agriculture can be protected, appreciated, experienced and supported."
In 2011, the Government of Canada released a Needs Assessment Study that indicated an additional airport in the region will be needed
between 2027 and 2037 and that the Pickering lands would be a prime
location for this airport. The government has now identified the
southeast quadrant of the existing lands as the site to be protected
for a future airport, the amount of land needed being smaller than
Transport Canada will engage with stakeholders, businesses and local
communities on the future of the remaining Pickering Lands. To provide
your own feedback on the future management of the Pickering Lands,
please visit us online.
For more information on the future Rouge National Urban Park: www.parkscanada.gc.ca/rouge
The Pickering Lands encompass approximately 18,600 acres of land in
Pickering, Markham and Uxbridge (56 kilometres northeast of downtown
Toronto). The lands were acquired by the Government of Canada in 1972,
to be retained for a possible future airport and to protect all future
aviation options. Transport Canada is responsible for the day-to-day
management and long-term planning of the federally owned Pickering
Transport Canada released a Needs Assessment Study in 2011 that indicated an additional airport in the region will be
needed between 2027 and 2037, when capacity at existing airports in the
Greater Golden Horseshoe area is predicted to be reached. At the time,
the Government of Canada committed to developing a plan for the
Since 2011, the south-east quadrant of the existing lands has been
identified as the site for a future airport. As a result, the western
portion of this site (approximately 5,000 acres) will be transferred to
Parks Canada to form part of the future Rouge National Urban Park.
Transport Canada will follow a prescribed regulatory process to amend
the Pickering Airport Site designation and the Pickering Airport Zoning Regulations. This process will include the engagement of stakeholders through
formal public consultation. Transport Canada will also work in
cooperation with the Province of Ontario to amend the Ministerial
Zoning Orders to restrict development in the surrounding lands to
activities compatible with a future airport. All regulatory work
required to transfer lands for Rouge National Urban Park is expected to
be completed by summer 2014.
In parallel, Transport Canada will engage with the province, regional
and local municipalities, business interests and other stakeholders in
the region to seek input on the future of the remaining Pickering
Lands. Public information sessions will also take place on June 24 and
27, 2013 (please consult our Pickering Lands website for details). This input will help shape development and management
plans for the future of the Pickering Lands, while protecting what is
needed for future aviation purposes.
For more information, including a map of the lands, please visit our Pickering Lands website.
SOURCE: Transport Canada
For further information:
Office of the Minister of Finance
Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of the Environment
and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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