Port Windsor Supports Urban National Park in Ojibway Shores

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Ottawa has signalled its strongest intention yet to create a national urban park in Ojibway Shores.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change has listed Windsor as one of seven communities being considered for a national urban park.

Those plans would designate the Ojibway Prairie Complex as an Urban National Park and consolidate land owned by The Windsor Port Authority.

Port Windsor originally obtained the property along the Detroit River from the City of Windsor for industrial port development in exchange for land at Rendezvous Shores.

President and CEO Steve Salmons says the discovery of several endangered species on the property derailed that plan.

He tells The Afternoon News that the authority supports an urban park and will continue to work on another land swap with the city.

"We have a mandate and a desire to see economic development and job creation and we don't think those are at odds," he says. "The solution is to identify another piece of property to replace the Ojibway Shores property and the Ojibway Shores property should rightly go into the Ojibway Prairie Complex."

Salmons says Port Windsor supports any move that preserves the land, but needs to find water-front property to replace it.

"It was in fact the Port Authority that funded and supported a public review a decade ago and announced a freeze on development before entering into discussions with the City of Windsor to swap out the land," he says. "I think we're still on track to the right destination."

Finding waterfront property for economic development will be tough, according to Salmons.

"The creation of the urban parks put a new wrinkle in the fold, but with good will, good intent and creative minds we'll all find a solution yet," he added.

Close to $131-million has been dedicated to the creation of urban national parks.

Parks in the Meewasin Valley in Saskatoon as well as areas in Winnipeg and Halifax are also being considered.