Improved Green Space To Serve Families For Years To Come

    Part Of The McGuinty Government's Plan For A Cleaner, Greener Ontario

    TORONTO, April 16 /CNW/ - To help manage and restore the natural, culture
and agricultural heritage of one of North America's largest urban green
spaces, the McGuinty government is providing $2 million to the Rouge Park
Alliance, Michael Chan, Minister of Revenue and MPP for Markham announced
today as part of the province's Earth Week celebrations, on behalf of David
Caplan, Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal.
    "By building a clean, green and healthy Ontario for future generations,"
said Chan. "We are expanding on our commitment to protect this large natural
green space to give families in Markham and across the province more
opportunities to enjoy the outdoors."
    To date, the Ontario government has dedicated more than 5,500 acres of
provincially owned land to Rouge Park and Bob Hunter Memorial Park. The two
parks' ecological and recreational benefits will be important amenities for
the Greater Toronto Area as southern Ontario's population continues to grow.
    Rouge Park, now over 11,500 acres (46 square kilometres) in size,
protects natural areas, national historic sites, and green space that stretch
from the Oak Ridges Moraine to Lake Ontario. It offers visitors hiking,
camping, a beach and spectacular views.
    "The outstanding support from the Government of Ontario brings us closer
to meeting our natural, cultural and agricultural heritage objectives," said
Gord Weeden, chair of the Rouge Park Alliance, the park's board of directors.
"These funds will be dedicated to restoring lands and historical properties in
the park, increasing public awareness of the park's values and providing an
enjoyable and memorable experience for our visitors."
    The parks are part of Ontario's Greenbelt, which permanently protects
approximately 1.8 million acres of environmentally sensitive and agricultural
land in the Golden Horseshoe from urban development and sprawl.
    "Improvements to parks like the Rouge will allow Ontarians to enjoy a
large urban oasis in their own community," said Chan. "While our government is
committed to strengthening our province's vital public infrastructure, we are
going to do it in a way that preserves our green spaces for Ontario families
to have a healthy, vibrant and beautiful natural environment for generations
to come."

    All Ontarians have a role to play in making our province greener. The
government has already taken action by protecting a greenbelt that stretches
across southern Ontario from development, introducing tough new laws that
protect our drinking water, producing more renewable energy and doing more to
conserve electricity. But we know more needs to be done. That's why our next
step will be the announcement of a climate change plan - a step that will help
all Ontarians do their part to make our province cleaner and greener while
keeping the economy strong.

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Amy Tang, Minister's Office, (416) 325-4048;
Lori Theoret, Communications Branch, (416) 325-1810

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Ontario Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal

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