Greenspace Alliance advises federal ministers the “vision persists” for Chaudière site and “the issue will not go away”

April 25, 2016

In a new letter to federal cabinet ministers, the head of the Greenspace Alliance, Erwin Dreesen, has reiterated the concerns set out three months ago by three prominent environmental organizations in Ottawa. Their original letter in support of greening the islands, dated January 26, 2016, announced, “we have decided to speak for the land, the water and the trees.”

Since then, no federal, provincial or municipal official has replied to the original letter. An employee of Windmill Development Group contacted and then met with representatives of the environmental organizations in early February.

Last week, a new letter from the Greenspace Alliance to federal ministers was spurred by Douglas Cardinal’s lecture at Carleton University, delivered to a full house. Text of the latest letter says:

Prime Minister, Ministers,

Douglas Cardinal this afternoon delivered a powerful lecture, hosted by the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Council of Ottawa.  Grandmothers are inviting all people of good will to join in a walk on May 30th.

The vision persists.  The issue will not go away.

May we take your non-response to date as an indication that you continue to consider returning the islands to their natural state, instead of seeing it built up, further alienating this sacred site.

“The Chaudière and Albert Islands are in the core of the national capital. Their rededication as a natural area, in recognition of indigenous claims, would be a powerful act of Reconciliation. This special area could become a central gathering place in the capital of Canada, for sharing the diverse natural and cultural stories of the land and its peoples. All of this would symbolize and embody the unfolding idea that is Canada.”

“… all of this can still be done. We ask you to act on this opportunity and make it a gift to the nation at our 150th anniversary.”

We remain hopeful. [Signed Erwin Dreesen]

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