Stop Terry Fox Road and Create a Park, says New Coalition

OTTAWA--The trees may be destroyed and the road bed under preparation, but citizens opposed to the extension of Terry Fox Drive in Kanata are more determined than ever to mount a wall of opposition to stop further construction work.

The newly-formed Coalition to Protect the South March Highlands is pressuring the Province and the City of Ottawa to stop the road and to create a new park instead.  The Coalition has issued a Position Statement which has been endorsed by ten local and national groups, including the Greenbelt Coalition of Canada’s Capital Region, the Carp Residents Association, and Sierra Club Canada.  (Statement attached.)

“The road is an appalling example of governments disregarding the will of the people and bowing to the will of developers,” says Coalition member Paul Renaud.  “It is unforgivable that three levels of government which share a mandate to protect sensitive ecological areas are instead pulling out all the stops to recklessly ram this road through Ottawa’s most bio-diverse natural area.”

The South March Highlands include provincially-significant wetlands and are home to more than 650 species, 17 of them species at risk of extinction.  The biodiversity of the area puts it on a par with Gatineau Park and Stony Swamp.  Once the road is built, the near-pristine wilderness within the arc of Terry Fox Drive is to be destroyed to create a housing development unwanted by the surrounding community.  The integrity of the area outside the arc is also threatened by the road and proposed development.

Instead of a four-lane road and more houses, the Coalition wants the area protected as a park linked to the existing National Capital Greenbelt.  The City of Ottawa’s own Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee recently issued a stinging critique of the project and is advising the City to put a moratorium on development in the area and explore the options for turning it into protected parkland.

The Coalition to Protect the South March Highlands is hosting a public “Walk on the Land” this Sunday, May 16 at 1:00 pm.  The hike will be along Kizzel Creek marshland to attempt to sight the threatened Blanding’s Turtle.  It begins at the parking lot on Goulbourn Forced Road, just south of the railway tracks. The hike is suitable for families and will go ahead rain or shine.


Note: Coalition Statement attached below.


Paul Renaud                           
Coalition to Protect the South March Highlands           
Sol Shuster                                  
Greenbelt Coalition of Canada’s Capital Region         

Andrea Prazmowski
Coalition to Protect the South March Highlands

John Bennett     
Sierra Club Canada

smh_coalition_statement_r_may_12-10.pdf63.33 KB


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