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Ottawa announces $130 million for network of national urbal parks, including Meewasin Valley

Click to play video: 'Ottawa announces $130M for network of national urbal parks, including Meewasin Valley' Ottawa announces $130M for network of national urbal parks, including Meewasin Valley
Ottawa announces $130M for network of national urbal parks, including Meewasin Valley – Aug 4, 2021

On Wednesday, the federal government announced up to $130.9 million to create a network of national urban parks in Canada.

The Meewasin Valley Authority (MVA) said it will work with Parks Canada, the city, Indigenous partners, local organizations and the public on what the park could look like for the National Urban Parks Program.

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Since the pandemic, the authority says the amount of people using the Meewasin trail has doubled.

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Mayor Charlie Clark said it’s important to strengthen an already important feature in the city.

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“It’s been a place of refuge for people, it’s been a place for families to connect and it’s been a place for people to find peace in a lot of uncertainty,” he said.

“There’s so many reasons why we need to continue to take this leadership and to build these partnerships so the next generations can enjoy what we’ve enjoyed.”

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The federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Parks Canada, said these projects will help conserve Canada’s biodiversity.

He said around 600 species of plants and animals are at risk or in the process of being listed.

“If we as a human race want to be able to have a sustainable world, we need to stop the decline in biodiversity, that means we need to invest in conservation and protection,” said Jonathan Wilkinson.

Out of the $130.9 million Ottawa is providing, it is unclear how much will go to this specific project at this time.

The MVA said the next steps are to start speaking with stakeholders and the public about what they’d like to see.

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The program across Canada is part of the federal government’s plan to protect biodiversity and conserve 25 per cent of land and inland waters, and 25 per cent of marine and coastal areas by 2025, with the nation working toward 30 per cent by 2030, according to a press release.

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