Windsor West MP commends transfer of Ojibway Shores to Parks Canada, but upset over delays
Days after the announcement of a land transfer of Ojibway Shores from the Windsor Port Authority to Parks Canada Windsor West New Democrat MP Brian Masse is thankful the process is finally complete, but upset about continual delays to establishing a national urban park.
“Open the park before the Gordie Howe bridge does so that we can have a full plan in place to get this done,” said Masse Wednesday.
The member of parliament has long been advocating for the land transfer of Ojibway Shores, noting he even provided the Windsor Port Authority with instructions about how to transfer the land four years ago, steps that are only now being taken.
But he says the port authority has been insistent on getting land in return for giving up Ojibway Shores.
Under the title transfer, 26 acres of land will go into the hands of Parks Canada and become part of the proposed Ojibway National Urban Park. The Port Authority will retain seven acres of shoreline to restore as a fish habitat.
Masse’s private members’ bill to establish the Urban Park — Bill C-248 — is set for third reading in parliament on April 19, where it’s expected to pass and move onto the Senate for review.
The proposed Ojibway National Urban Park would include Ojibway Park, Spring Garden Natural Area, Black Oak Heritage Park, the Tallgrass Prairie Park, Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve and Ojibway Shores.
Masse says years-long heel dragging on this land transfer puts the urban park opening by 2024 in jeopardy.
“Four years ago, I gave them a process that could have been done to transfer this land. It was not followed. It was delayed by greed. And we have witnessed shoreline erosion that's very significant on Ojibway shores,” said Masse.
“And that delay also is undermining our ability to actually get this process completed before the Gordie opens up.”
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