Announcement of a public meeting for the Ojibway National Urban Park

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The Ojibway National Urban Park project is taking the next steps and the public is invited to provide feedback at an upcoming public meeting.

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Bill C-248, a private member’s bill to create the Ojibway National Urban Park, passed second reading in the House of Commons with the support of the NDP, Bloc, Green parties and Conservatives as well as two Liberal MPs, MP Brian Masse (NDP — Windsor West) said Wednesday.

The upcoming town hall will be an opportunity for the public to weigh in on the legislative framework that will create the park and the potential use of the park, Masse said.

“It’s been three years since the first town hall where the idea of ​​the Ojibway National Urban Park was first proposed,” Masse said. “The bill to establish the park passed the House of Commons, Ojibway Shores has finally been transferred to Parks Canada at no cost to the taxpayers of Windsor and this upcoming Town Hall will be an opportunity for residents to discuss next steps with our partners at Caldwell First Nation., the city of windsor, and the Wildlands League.

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Reconciliation is just a word without action

Each national park in Canada has its own legislation, Masse said, a force that helps protect features and species unique to each park.

Meanwhile, a parallel process led by Parks Canada is in the consultation phase, Irek Kusmierczyk (Liberal – Windsor-Tecumseh) said in early June.

Earlier this year, Parks Canada gave the city $600,000 to begin planning for the new urban park, including evaluating options and opportunities, and further consultation with the public and stakeholders.

Caldwell First Nation Chief Mary Duckworth and MP Brian Masse are shown during a press conference at Ojibway Shores in Windsor on Wednesday, July 20, 2022.
Caldwell First Nation Chief Mary Duckworth and MP Brian Masse are shown during a press conference at Ojibway Shores in Windsor on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

The proposed park would include Ojibway Park, Spring Garden Natural Area, Black Oak Heritage Park, Tallgrass Prairie Park, Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Preserve and Ojibway Shores. The area is home to hundreds of endangered species and the total proposed park would span approximately 900 acres.

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Masse said comments provided by the public will be part of what will be presented, both by Masse and others as witnesses, when the bill reaches committee stage this fall.

The Caldwell First Nation, the City of Windsor and the Wildlands League have all provided letters of support to the federal government for Bill C-248.

Caldwell First Nation Chief Mary Duckworth said she looks forward to co-managing and developing the park, a move she says is important for reconciliation and conservation.

“What’s important with co-management is being able to protect species at risk from our goal,” Duckworth said.

“You have the objective of… your conservation authority as a government agency. You have any indigenous lens that’s local, knowledgeable about plants, air, water – to be able to co-manage a park to make it vibrant, to make it alive, and to be part of something bigger than us .

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“Reconciliation is just a word if there is no action. Co-management of national parks is the type of action that represents true reconciliation.

The City of Windsor has also expressed its support for the federal government in passing Bill C-248.

“We are at another watershed moment in this whole process and I commend Brian and Chief Duckworth for their work in moving the Private Member’s Bill forward,” Windsor Ward 9 Council said. Kieran McKenzie, also encouraging the public to attend Town Hall.

“We look forward to the opportunity as a city to come before the House of Commons and Parliament to tell our story and explain why we support the National Urban Park,” said McKenzie.

The public meeting will be held on August 25, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. at the Capri Pizza/South Windsor Arena.

ksaylors@postmedia.com

twitter.com/KathleenSaylors

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