Gretzky confirms NDP commitment to National Urban Park and transfer of provincial parcel to Parks Canada

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If the NDP forms government in June, transferring a parcel of provincially-owned green space to Parks Canada to form a national urban park would be a priority, said the incumbent from Windsor West.

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Standing at the entrance to the Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve on Monday, Lisa Gretzky said her party is committed to doing its part to establish a national urban park in Windsor by contributing to Ontario’s piece of the puzzle.

“These are beautiful grounds,” Gretzky said. “If they are well connected, people in our community and outside our community will be able to enjoy them and the wildlife – we will have the opportunity to enjoy them for years to come.”

A sign at the Malden Road entrance to the nature reserve says the province acquired the land in 1974 and it is home to thousands of species, including 2,000 species of insects and over 700 species of plants. In addition to provincial ownership, the hoped-for Ojibway National Urban Park — about 900 acres in total — would include Ojibway Shores, Black Oak Heritage Park, Ojibway Park, Tallgrass Prairie Park, and Spring Garden Natural Area.

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NDP candidate for Windsor West, Lisa Gretzky, is shown at Ojibway Prairie Field in Windsor on Monday, May 16, 2022. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

Gretzky has supported MP Brian Masse (NDP—Windsor West) for years in his efforts for a national urban park in the city. While such a park would be in the hands of the federal government, Gretzky said his office heard from residents who felt it was important for the province to transfer its lands to Parks Canada.

“This is something that New Democrats are determined to make happen very quickly,” she said.

Last week, federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault announced that a memorandum of understanding had been signed between Transport Canada and Parks Canada to transfer a 33-acre property to Ojibway Shores – a piece exceptional puzzle of the urban national park belonging to the Port of Windsor. Authority — for the purpose of preserving the land in its natural state. For years before, these lands had been targeted for industrial use.

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