National park status nothing new


by Nikki Mantell on May 25, 2009

The Editor,

The Regarding the editorial of May 13 (Surprising Moves), the only surprise here is Nikki Mantell’s obliviousness to what has been moving forward over the course of weeks, months, years and decades: creation and protection of a true park of national concern in the capital.

The basis for Gatineau Park’s would-be status is not new.  French urban planner Jacques Greber called Gatineau Park the “essential feature” of the nation’s capital.  Two words perhaps escape Mantell’s attention:  nation and capital.  Contrary to her understanding that the park is in her “backyard,” it does not belong to residents of “the hills.”  It belongs to all Canadians, and is an essential feature of the capital, and indeed of many visitors to the nation’s capital.

Mantell should learn to dedicate herself to authentic journalistic pursuits rather than sullying the debate on what is not a surprise to anyone.

I, and many others, applaud the efforts of the Conservative government and Lawrence Cannon in providing more flexibility to the NCC to acquire land within the park, and hopefully in bringing forward legal protection for the park very soon.

Andrew McDermott,  Chair, New Woodlands Preservation League