WHITHBY, ON, July13, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, today met with with community groups, regional and municipal leaders, and business stakeholders to discuss the government's next steps in the management of the Pickering Lands.
In 2013, the government announced a balanced approach for the development of the federally owned Pickering Lands, which involved setting aside a portion of land for a potential future airport and transferring nearly 5,000 acres to Parks Canada for the creation of Rouge National Urban Park.
Since then, the transfer to Parks Canada was completed in April 2015, and on July 11, 2015, Prime Minister Harper announced the transfer of an additional 5,200 acres of the Pickering Lands for the expansion of Rouge National Urban Park, increasing the boundaries of Canada's first national urban park by over 36 per cent.
Transport Canada is retaining approximately 9,600 acres in the southeast sector of the Pickering Lands for economic development, including a potential future airport.
Minister Raitt also announced today her intention to name in the coming months an independent advisor who will meet with local interests on the potential economic development opportunities around a future airport, as well as the upcoming publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I, of regulations for airport zoning and site designation to reflect the reduced Pickering Lands footprint due to the transfer of land into Rouge National Urban Park.
Transport Canada is committed to an open and transparent process concerning the future development of the Pickering Lands site. No decisions have been made on the development or timing of a potential future airport.
- The Pickering Lands are located 56 kilometres northeast of downtown Toronto and encompass lands in Pickering, Markham and Uxbridge.
- Transport Canada is responsible for the day-to-day management and long-term planning for the federally owned Pickering Lands.
- The Government of Canada has made a significant financial commitment for the establishment of Rouge National Urban Park in providing $143.7 million of funding over 10 years and $7.6 million per year thereafter for its continuing protection and operation.
"It has long been the government's commitment that any decisions on these lands will be informed by the interests and the needs of regional stakeholders. Today, I was pleased to hear the views of our key stakeholders on the progress we have made and to explore what role local interests could play in the future."
The Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport
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SOURCE Transport Canada
For further information: Zach Segal, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, Ottawa, 613-991-0700; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, 613-993-0055