TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 25, 2012) - The Honourable Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), today announced funding from Canada's Economic Action Plan 2012 towards the establishment of Rouge National Urban Park and presented the proposed Study Area for the park, during a meeting held today with Aboriginal and community partners, and a broad range of stakeholders.
"The Harper Government is committed to protecting and presenting Canada's natural beauty and to create Canada's first national urban park in the Rouge Valley of the GTA," said Minister Flaherty. "Today, we are excited to follow through on that commitment by providing over $140 million over the next 10 years and over $7.5 million ongoing to bring to fruition the dream of a 'people's park' in the GTA. This national urban park will become a place of national significance and will be enjoyed for generations."
"Our Government is proud of the outstanding collaboration with so many provincial, municipal, Aboriginal, youth and community partners as we move forward in creating this unique protected area in the heart of the GTA," said Minister Kent. "We are also pleased to share the proposed Study Area for Rouge National Urban Park, which fulfills the original vision for a contiguous network of lands reaching from Lake Ontario in the south all the way north to the Oak Ridges Moraine."
The Government of Canada also announced the creation of a Transition Advisory Committee to support Parks Canada's decision-making on the establishment process and interim management of the park. Appointments to the Transition Advisory Committee will be made in the coming weeks by Minister Kent and will ensure the diversity of interests in Rouge National Urban Park are represented.
"This is a chance of a lifetime to be part of something innovative that will leave a lasting legacy; to work together towards building something very special," said Minister Kent. "With this federal funding, we can now officially move forward with the establishment process and, as such, I am pleased to launch the public involvement phase beginning this summer. I encourage all Canadians, especially those located in the GTA, to get involved, to provide their input and to be a part of making history here in our great nation."
For additional information on today's announcement, please see the accompanying backgrounder at www.parkscanada.gc.ca under Media Room or visit www.parkscanada.gc.ca/rouge.
IF THERE IS A DISCREPANCY BETWEEN ANY PRINTED VERSION AND THE ELECTRONIC VERSION OF THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE ELECTRONIC VERSION WILL PREVAIL.
This news release is available online at: www.actionplan.gc.ca.
Rouge National Urban Park Establishment
The Harper Government announced in Canada's Economic Action Plan 2012 its commitment to preserving Canada's natural beauty and taking action on the creation of Canada's first national urban park in the Rouge Valley in Ontario. Accordingly, $143.7 million was provided over 10 years for park development and interim operations, and $7.6 million per year thereafter was provided for its continuing operations.
Proposed Study Area
The proposed Study Area for Rouge National Urban Park is that which was included in the proposal set out in the Rouge Park Alliance governance report and respects the goals and principles that have been established through this past year of discussions with stakeholders. The area extends from Lake Ontario in the south to the Oak Ridges Moraine in the north, including lands within the existing Rouge Park and additional federal lands west of the York-Durham town-line.
As a Canadian first with currently no comparable places, Rouge National Urban Park requires a management approach reflective of its urban character. As such, the Government of Canada has worked closely with more than 100 national, provincial and regional organizations, Aboriginal partners, and youth, along with individuals and organizations with expertise related to conservation, farming, tourism, recreation, youth engagement and education, to develop a proposed Rouge National Urban Park concept. The proposed concept includes conservation of natural and cultural resources, opportunities for learning, a wide range of visitor experience possibilities, and the integration and promotion of sustainable agriculture.
The proposed Rouge National Urban Park concept was presented to these stakeholders and partners in a workshop that followed the Ministerial announcement on May 25, 2012 and will soon be ready to share during the public involvement phase slated to begin at the end of June. An on-line public consultation portal will be made available to facilitate input from the public. Public involvement is a cornerstone of policy, planning and management practices to ensure sound decision-making, build public understanding, and provide opportunities for Canadians to contribute their expertise and suggestions.
Transition Advisory Committee
Building on the park's legacy of community involvement and multi-jurisdictional cooperation, Parks Canada will create a Transition Advisory Committee, which will provide advice and input on the establishment process and interim management of the park. The Transition Advisory Committee will ensure the diversity of interests is reflected. Appointments will be made by the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada's Minister of the Environment and the Minister responsible for Parks Canada.