Masse’s private bill calls for Windsor National Urban Park

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With angry protesters just miles from the largest closed commercial crossing in North America, local MP Brian Masse was in snowy, serene Ojibway Park announcing his private member’s bill to create a new national urban park.

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“We need some good news, a breath of fresh air,” Masse (NDP – Windsor West) said Wednesday before introducing a bill in a virtual link to the House of Commons, also currently located in alongside idling trucks and protesters demonstrating against the vaccine mandates.

Bill C-248, An Act to amend the Canada National Parks Act (Ojibway National Urban Park), “is the culmination of years, if not decades, of work by many residents of this region who are struggling to protect this unique ecosystem,” Masse said of the proposed 900-acre (364-hectare) national urban park in West Windsor.

The federal Liberal government announced plans last summer to create a series of national urban parks, including one in Windsor, but Masse said it was just political talk ‘stolen by night’ that could change with the calling of elections.

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“It makes it a real park. Without legislation, it’s just temporary common ground,” he said of his bill and the government’s current commitment.

Masse had also lobbied for years for single-match sports betting to be legalized, the feds also pledged to get it approved, but the law only changed last year after a bill similar private member’s initiative from the opposition.

  1. Karina Gould, Minister for International Development, is joined by Irek Kusmiercyzk, MP for Windsor-Tecumseh, left, and Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens, while announcing the signing of a statement of collaboration to explore the potential of a national urban park in the Ojibway Prairie Complex on Monday, August 9, 2021.

    Windsor National Urban Park is close to a sure thing, says federal minister

  2. MP Brian Masse is pictured at the Ojibway Nature Center in Windsor during a press conference Thursday, September 16, 2021.

    Mass lobbies for Ojibway National Urban Park; will table a bill if re-elected

  3. National Urban Park?  An aerial view of Ojibway Shores, Windsor's last natural shoreline along the Detroit River, is shown on May 16, 2019.

    Mayor calls on new federal environment minister to help save Ojibway Shores

Masse’s bill includes Ojibway Shores, currently controlled by the local port authority, but he said everything in the proposed national park is state property.

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Legislation must be created or changed for Windsor to get its national urban park, he said. Knowing that property will be protected forever, Masse added, would increase levels of interest and investment and other opportunities from non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

“It’s exciting – it creates new avenues and opportunities for ecotourism that would surround the region,” he said.

While “the odds are always against private members’ bills,” Masse said, he’s confident “it’s going to happen” in the current parliamentary session.

He hopes that the proposed bill will be voted on and sent to committee before the spring.

dschmidt@postmedia.com

twitter.com/schmidtcity

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