Erin O’Toole Welcomes Balanced Approach to Pickering Lands

Ottawa, ON – June 12, 2013 –Durham MP Erin O’Toole expressed his support for the responsible and balanced approach unveiled by the Harper Government for the future of the Pickering Lands which rationalizes the federal land holdings in the Durham Region. These lands were expropriated by the Trudeau government forty-one years ago.

“The Pickering Lands were expropriated before I was born and will remain a contentious issue for some people in our region” said MP O’Toole. “I am pleased that our Government has taken a balanced and measured approach that releases thousands of acres for the new Rouge Park, while also maintaining land for an airport that may be needed in the next two decades”

As part of the announcement, the Harper government has committed to transferring nearly 5000 acres from the federal lands to Parks Canada to assist in the creation of Rouge National Urban Park. This transfer is anticipated to take place in 2014 and would help create Canada’s largest urban park. This is part of the Harper Government’s commitment to responsibly rationalizing and managing these lands and addressing long standing concerns of local residents.

“The Rouge National Urban Park is a first for Canada.” said MP O’Toole. “I am proud that our Government is allocating over 5000 acres of the Pickering Lands for a national park.”

In an effort to finally end the uncertainty around the federal lands, the Harper Government has also identified 4,650 acres on the southeast quadrant as the site to be protected for a future airport. This announcement clarifies what portion of the lands will be held going forward as a potential site for an airport to service southern Ontario. Transport Canada estimates that an airport may be required in the next twenty years, depending on population growth, passenger load numbers and the expansion of other GTA airports in Hamilton and Waterloo.

This ends decades of uncertainty surrounding the Pickering Lands. Transport Canada will be undertaking community consultations to solicit feedback on the future of the remaining lands. More information can be found by visiting Transport Canada’s website here.

Quick Facts

  • The Pickering Airport Lands encompass approximately 18,600 acres across Durham and York Regions.
  • Transport Canada plans to transfer approximately 5000 acres to Parks Canada for the creation of the Rouge National Urban Park.
  • In 2011, Transport Canada released a Needs Assessment Study that indicated an additional airport in the region may be needed between 2027 and 2037 and that the Pickering lands would be a prime location for this airport.
  • Public consultation meetings are scheduled for June 24th and June 27th from 6-8 PM at the Glen Cedars Golf Club in Pickering (230, 7th Concession).

For additional information or comment from MP O’Toole, please contact:
Amber Bryant-Peller
Legislative Assistant to Erin O’Toole, MP (Durham)
Phone: 613-992-2792 / Email:

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