Ted Arnott, MPP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2015
Liberals need to stop playing games with Rouge National
(Queen’s Park) – The way the Liberal Government is handling the Rouge National Urban Park
shows that they are putting partisan political games ahead of the public interest, says Wellington-
Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott.
Mr. Arnott rose in Question Period on April 1 to challenge Economic Development Minister Brad
Duguid on his motives for picking a fight with the Federal Government over the creation of the
Rouge National Urban Park in Scarborough.
“Why is the Minister reneging on his Government’s commitment to the Rouge National Urban Park,
and putting the whole thing at risk by playing petty, partisan, political games?” Mr. Arnott asked the
On January 26, 2013 the Ontario Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the
Federal Government to create the Rouge National Urban Park, Canada’s first urban national park.
Approximately two-thirds of the land would have come from the Provincial Government.
However, last year, the Ontario Government suddenly backtracked on its commitment, under the
pretence that the legislation to create the park did not included adequate environmental protections.
Mr. Arnott believes that this decision was entirely political. He pointed out that this position is shared
by the Globe and Mail in a scathing March 20 editorial which called out the Liberals for their conduct.
“The Globe and Mail recently said this: ‘Ontario’s justification for pulling out of the deal doesn’t hold
up to scrutiny,’” Mr. Arnott told the House.
The editorial went on to call out the Liberals for “playing games” and that argued that the Minister’s
sole reason for putting the brakes on the Rouge National Urban Park appears to be because “…the
interests of his government don’t include letting the federal Conservatives announce a new national
park in the GTA during this election cycle.”
Mr. Arnott pointed to a fundraising email the Liberals send out last September using the issue to
raise money for their Party.
“Despite the Minister’s claims that it is all about the environment, this is really all about politics,”
argued Mr. Arnott afterwards. “When the Minister uses the Rouge Park disagreement for a
fundraising appeal, you can’t help but question the credibility of his message.”
(Attached: The text of Mr. Arnott’s questions to the Minister; A copy of the Liberals’ fundraising
email dated September 4, 2014)
– 30 –
Ted Arnott, MPP
Text of Mr. Arnott’s questions to the Minister of Economic
Development, April 1, 2015
Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Economic Development.
Why is the Minister reneging on his Government’s commitment to the Rouge National Urban
Park, and putting the whole thing at risk by playing petty, partisan political games?
Mr. Speaker, more than 2 years ago, Ontario agreed to transfer land to the Federal Government
to help create the Rouge National Urban Park in Scarborough.
However, the Minister recently decided to go back on his word, and derail the entire process, for
no good reason. He even has the gall to use it for Liberal fundraising.
The Globe and Mail recently said this: “Ontario’s justification for pulling out of the deal doesn’t
hold up to scrutiny.”
The Globe went on to say that he’s “playing games” and “it appears that the interests of his
government don’t include letting the federal Conservatives announce a new national park in the
GTA during this election cycle.”
When will the Minister keep his word, and stop holding up the Rouge National Urban Park?