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Wilson Makes Statement about Closure of Springwater Park

(April 8, 2013) Ontario Hansard - SPRINGWATER PROVINCIAL PARK

Mr. Jim Wilson: I rise today after attending a rally on the weekend about the Wynne government's recent closure of Springwater Provincial Park. I would like to begin by thanking Dale Goldhawk from AM740, Zoomer Radio, for his presence at the rally, and Les Stewart from the Springwater Park Citizens' Coalition for organizing the event. Both Dale and Les have been integral in keeping pressure on the Wynne government to allow the Springwater park to remain open.

The loss of this unique resource in our community has been immense. In fact, in recent months I've been inundated with emails, letters and petitions from concerned residents and local councils who share this sentiment. For example, here's an excerpt from one of the many letters I have received.

Carol from Wasaga Beach writes: "This park is a gem that we the people of Ontario cannot afford to lose. The fact that this park is the only provincial park ... with a wildlife sanctuary for injured or orphaned animals native to Canada, it houses a World War I cenotaph dedicated to the Vespra Boys, and is located just outside Barrie (one of the fastest-growing cities in Ontario) should be reason enough to overturn your decision!"

I'm pleased that the new minister, David Orazietti, recently gave me a phone call and said he supports reopening the initiative to explore options that will allow the park to remain open. I look forward to these discussions in the weeks ahead, and I know the minister will keep his word to keep an open mind. In the meantime, as the park is now closed, I urge the government to reconsider their decision and give us more time to come up with all the available options.


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