Gatineau Park in Dire Straits: Government Urged to Table Bill
Chelsea, December 11, 2019—The Gatineau Park Protection Committee (GPPC) is urging the minister responsible for the National Capital Commission (NCC) to introduce legislation to protect Gatineau Park.
In a letter to Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand, the GPPC outlines a dozen serious problems affecting Gatineau Park to illustrate the need for a better legislative framework.
“The park is literally falling apart as a result of Liberal government inaction, as well as the NCC’s timid and weak leadership, failure to respect its Master Plan and obsessive-compulsive determination to manage Gatineau Park primarily for the benefit of special interests and private land owners,” said GPPC secretary Jean-Paul Murray.
In its call for legislation, the GPPC highlights several problems facing the park, including collapsing lookouts, outbreaks of cyanobacteria at the park’s three main lakes in 2019, residential construction in the Meech Lake buffer strip, and conflicts of interest regarding the public advisory committee on Gatineau Park.
As a solution to those problems, the GPPC is urging the federal government to introduce legislation based on principles that reflect a consensus on the matter. “Gatineau Park legislation should prioritize conservation and ecological integrity in park management; enshrine boundaries; eliminate private property development; and dedicate the park to future generations. Moreover, it should create a mechanism to ensure consultation with the province of Quebec,” Mr. Murray said.
The GPPC’s letter to the minister includes a copy of the draft legislation prepared by the Honourable Joyce Murray’s office in 2013, and the GPPC’s legislative summary regarding that proposed bill.
Over the last fourteen years, several bills to protect Gatineau Park have been introduced in the Senate and the House of Commons. None were adopted.
Information: Jean-Paul Murray, 819-827-1803
A pdf. of the GPPC letter to the minister is available below.