Prioritize Ecological Integrity in Rouge National Urban Park
Would you help to support creating a healthy, sustainable 100+ km2 National Rouge Park. Efforts of dedicated supporters and volunteers have helped to expand the Park to approximately 75 km2 - an amazing achievement.
With your continued emails, we can win support to amend the flawed Rouge National Urban Park Act legislation and create a healthy 100+ km2 National Rouge Park which prioritizes ecological integrity.
1. Copy the following list of MPs, Candidates and Key Contacts into the blind carbon copy (bcc) section of your email.
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Elizabeth.May@parl.gc.ca;firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Rathika.Sitsabaiesan@parl.gc.ca;Roxanne.James@parl.gc.ca; firstname.lastname@example.org; Arnold.Chan@parl.gc.ca;email@example.com; Dan.Harris@parl.gc.ca; firstname.lastname@example.org; Rathika.Sitsabaiesan@ndp.ca;email@example.com; Laura.Patrick@ndp.ca; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;firstname.lastname@example.org; celina@VoteCelina.ca; Alex.Wilson@ndp.ca; Laura.Casselman@ndp.ca;Matthew.Kellway@parl.gc.ca; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;Senthi.Chelliah@ndp.ca; Gregory.Hines@ndp.ca; Pamela.email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Read & copy the letter below into your email, personalize it if you like, add your name and city of residence and send it.Dear MPs and Candidates:
As Parks Canada's former chief scientist has stated, the Rouge National Urban Park Act “falls considerably short” of accepted standards for protected areas, urban or wilderness.
The federal park plan ignores Environment Canada's own science-based recommendations for improving biological diversity, watershed health and Lake Ontario water quality.
The federal park legislation fails to honour the federal commitment to "meet or exceed" the environmental policies of Ontario Greenbelt and Rouge Park Plans.
If the federal government continues to weaken and ignore environmental standards, science and commitments, we will all suffer from dangerous climatic extremes and costly harm to ecosystem and human health.
Consequently, the Rouge National Urban Park Act and draft plan need to be improved to:
- Prioritize the protection and restoration of ecological integrity and watershed health;
- Support the implementation of Greenbelt, ORM, Rouge Park, Watershed & Great Lakes Water Quality Improvement Plans;
- Implement the Greenbelt "main ecological corridor" and Environment Canada's "How Much Habitat is Enough" recommendations;
- Create a 100+ square kilometre National Rouge Park linking Lake Ontario to the Oak Ridges Moraine;
- Remove the dangerous misnomer "Urban" from the park name.
Rouge Park has greater biological diversity than almost any other Canadian national park and it is much larger than five existing national parks. The term "urban park" belies Rouge Park's national ecological significance and size, its natural and rural character, its existing and potential landscape connectivity, and its natural visitor experiences. Unlike urban parks which are small and isolated, Rouge Park is large and it connects to 7,200 square kilometres of Greenbelt lands which link Lake Ontario to Lake Simcoe and Lake Huron. Unlike urban parks, which involve expensive over-development and manicuring, Rouge Park should remain natural, rural and affordable.
The federal government has tried to excuse its weak park legislation and plan by citing Rouge Park's near urban setting, infra-structure and agricultural leases. However, many national parks have towns, highways and leased lands - and all existing national parks prioritize "ecological integrity".
There are 100+ square kilometres of public land in the Ontario Greenbelt and "natural heritage system" surrounding the Rouge River and Duffins Creek. These public lands represent the last chance to protect a new national park in Canada's most populous and under-protected region - the Carolinian zone of southern Ontario - home to 1/3 of Canada's endangered species.
To ensure the nationally significant Rouge Park ecosystem survives and thrives, we need to prioritize ecological integrity and watershed health within the park legislation and plan.
Whether far wilderness or near urban, national parks are extra-ordinary public lands where Canadians justifiably prioritize ecological integrity.
Will you support the above amendments to create a healthy 100 square kilometre National Rouge Park?
Your Name and Municipality