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Hiroshi Watanabe via Getty Images
The Rouge River and Valley ecosystem is surrounded by more than 100 square kilometres of publicly owned Greenbelt lands in an unusual location -- next to one of Canada's most-urbanized areas. The Rouge is home to sensitive forest and wetland areas, and more than 1,700 species of plants and animals.
MPs on both sides of the House support the creation of the Rouge National Park, but it must be done properly. The Park is very close to my home and I have taken my children and my grandchildren to it often, both in winter and summer. So, I am quite familiar with the land and am very pleased to see that we have moved to the point of presenting legislation.
Wikimedia Commons: Bruce Marlin
Most people understand the concept of financial capital. We pay for things we find valuable. But how much is our natural capital worth? According to the David Suzuki Foundation's research, the 7,000-square-kilometre Ontario Greenbelt provides at least $2.6 billion in non-market benefits each year. We wouldn't let a bank get away with losing our life savings. We shouldn't let decision-makers off the hook when they allow our natural wealth to be squandered.
Show someone a photo of a lush forest with a grizzly bear and ask what's in the picture. Most will answer, "a bear." Add a spotted owl to the scene, and the response might become, "a grizzly bear under an owl." What you are unlikely to hear is a description of the flora accompanying the charismatic fauna.