Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague, the member for Scarborough—Guildwood, for his presentation on the Rouge Park, as proposed to us.
I had a lot of involvement with the Rouge when I worked in the office of the Hon. Tom McMillan, when he was minister of the environment, and with the wonderful Pauline Browes, who continues to play an important role in this. She was minister of parks in the Mulroney administration.
I want to see the Rouge created as a national park, but I want it to be done right. I have also, therefore, worked with a group known as Friends of the Rouge Watershed for a very long time and share their concern that the current management plan and current plans for the park do not protect it adequately.
I want to ask my hon. colleague, the member for Scarborough—Guildwood a question. Yes, it is a park in an urban area, which makes it unique, but how much do we have to compromise on the fundamental principles of ecological integrity within the national park scheme in order to create an urban park? Should we not push for the very best ecologically protected zone we possibly can? This will be an achievement for the world.
Hon. John McKay: Mr. Speaker, I, too, want to acknowledge the work of the Hon. Pauline Browes. Members might be interested to know that at one point, she ran against me, so I have some familiarity with Ms. Browes. Anyway, I am here, and she is not. The member for Whitchurch-Stouffville had the same experience, I believe, as well, but he is here.
I also want to acknowledge the work of Derek Lee, who was the member for Scarborough–Rouge River for many years. I think those are the two legislative heroes.
The hon. member asked a really interesting question: how much is the compromise going to be?
There is going to be compromise. We are not talking about pristine wilderness. We are not talking about Nahanni, which is what we will be talking about in the next park bill. We are talking about a significantly degraded watershed. We are talking about an area in the eastern GTA that is heavily populated, and we are talking about a lot of complications, particularly, for instance, with the leaseholders and how to integrate the leaseholders into the management of the farm yet meet the highest possible ecological standards, under the circumstances.
This is going to be difficult at the best of times, and it has been made even more difficult by these current circumstances.