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e-3690 (Environment)

E-petition
Initiated by Rick LaBonte from Tecumseh, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

Whereas:
  • Ojibway Shores, a 33 acre parcel of land, an ecological treasure hosting rare flora, fauna and countless species-at-risk and is owned by the federal government and overseen by the Windsor Port Authority;
  • The creation of a National Urban Park to protect Ojibway Shores would benefit our environment, tourism, and local economy greatly;
  • The protection of countless endangered species, species-at-risk and protection of green spaces is a vital to the Windsor-Essex;
  • The Windsor Port Authority tried to extract $12 million from the Sandwich Towne Community Benefit Fund meant to offset border impacts in challenged neighbourhoods in exchange for a 30-year lease of Ojibway Shores and was soundly rejected;
  • Other port authorities have transferred lands at no cost to federal government departments;
  • The city of Windsor and the Windsor Port Authority could not come to agreement for the transfer of Ojibway Shores to the city;
  • The Prime Minister has acknowledged the importance of this land but has yet to take action;
  • The city of Windsor council has unanimously endorsed the protection of Ojibway Shores and the creation of a National Urban Park; and
  • The federal government owns the property and can transfer from the port authority to Environment Canada whose mandate to conserve Canada's natural heritage and is resourced to protect and preserve.
We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to immediately transfer Ojibway Shores to Environment Canada for its long-term protection, and for the economic, tourism and environmental benefits to Windsor-Essex with the ultimate goal of creating Ojibway Shores National Urban Park.

Response by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable STEVEN GUILBEAULT

This petition shows widespread public support for the protection of the Ojibway Shores property, through its transfer to another department of the federal government toward the creation of a national urban park in Windsor.

It is important to recognize that federal action regarding Ojibway Shores has been taken in recent months. A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency, and the Minister of Transport, outlining a clear process for the transfer of the Ojibway Shores property to Parks Canada in exchange for a suitable replacement property.

While Ojibway Shores is a federally-owned property, it is managed under letters patent by the Windsor Port Authority, an entity at arm’s-length from Transport Canada.  Since the announcement in August 2021 of the National Urban Parks Program, and of Windsor as a candidate national urban park site, Parks Canada’s involvement has opened new opportunities for a mutually beneficial resolution to protection of the Ojibway Shores parcel. Windsor Port Authority will receive fair compensation for Ojibway Shores in the form of a replacement property, which will permit the Port Authority to fulfill its economic development mandate. Progress toward realizing the transfer by Parks Canada and Transport Canada is advancing and expected to be concluded within this fiscal year.

Open for signature
January 4, 2022, at 1:36 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
May 4, 2022, at 1:36 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Brian Masse (Windsor West)
June 23, 2022 (Petition No. 441-00646)
Government response tabled
September 20, 2022
Photo - Brian Masse
Windsor West
New Democratic Party Caucus
Ontario
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