Windsor West MP thrilled Parks Canada has secured Ojibway Shores land

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The M-P for Windsor West calls it the "step we needed" to develop a national urban park in Windsor.

New Democrat Brian Masse, a longtime advocate for the creation of a national urban park in the city's west-end, is celebrating now that Parks Canada has secured the Ojibway Shores property.

The federal government signed a deal Thursday with Transport Canada that will see the Windsor Port Authority transfer the 33 acres of land over to Parks Canada for the eventual inclusion in an Ojibway National Urban Park.

The land swap will also see Parks Canada provide financial support to the Windsor Port Authority to help them identify land they can purchase that will suit their needs. 

For Masse, the next step in the process is to have the House of Commons vote in favour of his private member's bill - Bill C-248, An Act to amend the Canada National Parks Act (Ojibway National Urban Park). 

Masse says it's something they've been after for over an decade.

"My bill for this land is actually coming up, so this folds in quite nicely," he says. "So there will be a vote coming up very soon on getting this as a national urban park, similar to that of Point Pelee. This land needed to be put into the fold and it finally is, so this is really important." 

Masse says the second debate on his bill is set for June 2, followed by a vote.

"One of the things we've run into though is that not all the Liberals are supporting it at the moment. But I do have support from Conservatives, the Green Party and the Bloc {Quebecois}. We're working on making sure we get the full version of the bill," he says.

Masse says he really wants to see this through.

"If we can actually get our own Point Pelee in the City of Windsor and have Ojibway Shores protected, it just recognizes the environmental importance of our area," he adds.

The proposed Ojibway National Urban Park would ultimately connect Ojibway Shores, Ojibway Park, the Spring Garden Natural Area, Black Oak Heritage Park, the Tallgrass Prairie Park, and Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve - forming a 900 acre park. 

In February 2022, Parks Canada announced nearly $600,000 in funding for a 'Windsor Urban Park Assessment.' The funding from Parks Canada for the City of Windsor is being used conduct an assessment of the area and its unique characteristics as part of work to establish a national urban park.