Conservatives kill Green efforts to protect park

Efforts to boost protection for the Rouge National Urban Park were rejected last night, as Conservative members of the Environment Committee voted to reject every single one of the 18 amendments submitted by Bruce Hyer, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Thunder Bay-Superior North, as well as others proposed by the NDP.

The changes would have upheld the principle of ecological integrity for the Rouge, as is the standard for all other national parks.

“It was incredibly disheartening to watch every Conservative vote down each of our amendments one by one, without even batting an eye,” Hyer said. “It was particularly disappointing to observe MP Paul Calandra vote only with his party, and against what his constituents may want. Our amendments were supported by the Liberals and the NDP. But the government was barely willing to engage in discussion, let alone admit that this park needs better protection. They were taking their orders straight from the PMO, as usual.”

“The Conservatives have established a park with substandard protections, and have protected less space than was originally intended,” Hyer said. “This bill clearly violates the agreement this government made with the province of Ontario to protect this park, and it ignores countless other policies regarding the Rouge Park. While it could be good to have a Rouge River National Park, the existing protections from the Province of Ontario were actually superior. Rouge supporters were hoping for enhanced and expanded protections, rather than decreased protection. ”