Meewasin partners with Parks Canada for national urban park

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Parks Canada and the Meewasin Valley Authority (MVA) signed a declaration of collaboration to explore the potential of a national urban park in the Meewasin Valley.

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Parks Canada and the Meewasin Valley Authority (MVA) signed a declaration of collaboration to explore the potential of a national urban park in the Meewasin Valley.

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This is part of a $ 130.9 million national urban parks program.

“Seventy-two percent of the population lives in urban areas. It is important for us to be able to consider protecting biodiversity in urban centers, but it is especially important, if we expect Canadians to value nature, that they have the opportunity to do so. the experience of nature, ”said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada at a press conference Wednesday.

“We are really excited. I think this is a great opportunity to re-engage our entire region and work with the federal government to take a look at Meewasin and what’s out there for the future, ”said Andrea Lafond, CEO of Meewasin Valley Authority.

It has not yet been decided how much Saskatoon will get from the $ 130.9 million program.

“Just a few years ago, Meewasin was in the throes of a funding crunch,” said Mayor Charlie Clark. “Having the ability to work with the federal government to bring resources to the table to help preserve this long-term sustainable funding is invaluable. “

“We see opportunities, potentially, to extend the territorial base of Meewasin, we see opportunities to potentially consider investing collectively in infrastructure, investing collectively in the protection of the biodiversity that exists within the region. Meewasin Valley Authority. And so I think the federal government is prepared to do its part when it comes to financial contributions, ”Wilkinson said.

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Parks Canada signs agreements with several other municipalities, including Winnipeg and Halifax, and is working on agreements with Edmonton, Colwood, BC, Windsor and Montreal.

Former Prime Minister Roy Romanow was present during Wednesday’s announcement. He was a key figure in the creation of the MVA.

“I am overwhelmed with joy. It’s been a project since 1978-79 or so, maybe even earlier. It’s a long time ago and to see him progress the way he has, and now to hear the announcement and the possibilities it indicates, leads, it’s wonderful, ”said Romanow.

“I think (MVA) has in some ways been an important role model for other parts of Canada, other cities and communities. To that extent, this kind of announcement is very important. It’s a bit of a surprise to me, but very pleasant, ”said Romanow.

“The federal government that comes to play is in the big leagues,” he added.

The MVA is expected to undertake a public consultation regarding what changes people might want to see in the park and what should be preserved.

  1. Row Romanow stands alongside the South Saskatchewan River Valley, an area he helped protect through his participation in the creation of the Meewasin Valley Authority.  Photo taken in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  Wednesday, October 9, 2019.

    Romanow reflects on the controversial origin of the Meewasin Valley Authority

  2. Andrea Lafond, CEO of the Meewasin Valley Authority at Gabriel Dumont Park in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on Tuesday July 24, 2018.

    Andrea Lafond: Meewasin Valley Authority’s new director believes in conservation and change

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