Gretzky says NDP would commit to moving quick on Ojibway land sale


The NDP candidate for Windsor West, Lisa Gretzky, held a press conference on Monday to reiterate the NDP's commitment to establishing the Ojibway National Urban Park.

In particular, to making sure that the last piece of the land puzzle the Tallgrass Prairie Heritage Park is signed over to Parks Canada by the provincial government.

Last week the federal government announced a new deal that will clear the way for Ojibway Shores, a key piece of land along the Windsor-Detroit shoreline, to be part of the proposed urban park project.

Gretzky says it's been a couple of years since they've been highlighting the need to have the parcel of land transferred to Parks Canada, which includes a few meetings with the minister in charge.

"He wrote me back a lovely, personal hand written note that said the government was supportive and they were going to work to make that happen. Yet seven months after that initial contact was made where those conversations officially started happening, the Ford government hasn't done anything to move this project forward," she said.

She says should New Democrats win the provincial election in June, they will sign over the land to Parks Canada very quickly.

Gretzky adds, it's an issue that generates a lot of feedback from people at the doors.

"They're asking me when the province is going to do its part. They're very disappointed knowing that we had started this process years ago, but formal talks had started with the PC government through the minister and myself, and yet seven months later here we are in an election and the Ford government hasn't delivered."

She says it wouldn't be a hugely time consuming thing to move this issue forward if the NDP were in charge at Queen's Park.

"The first day that we form government we could sign the paper work. We could start the talks with Parks Canada, get the agreement in place and get the transfer done right away," she began. "It's not something that would take a great amount of time, and that's why people are wondering why the Conservatives say they're supportive but never actually did what was needed to transfer the land."

The concept behind a national urban park in Windsor dates back many years and the political representative for Windsor West at the federal level, MP Brian Masse, has been a big champion for it over the years.

- with files from AM800's Rob Hindi