Masse raises concerns over sale of waterfront property

Windsor-West MP Brian Masse urges Ojibway Shores protection, September 10, 2019. Photo by Maureen Revait

Windsor-West MP Brian Masse is raising alarm bells after a piece of waterfront property next to Ojibway Shores went up for sale over the weekend.

Masse fears the sale of the land could jeopardize the creation of a National Urban Park at Ojibway shores and put the hundreds of endangered species in the area at risk.

“We were surprised because we thought it was already in the public interest. But now, it appears there is another wrinkle with regards to protecting shoreline because the amount of dumping there is everything from asphalt to concrete from projects all over the city,” said Masse.

The property is located beside Ojibway Shores along the Detroit River and is adjacent to the Gordie Howe International Bridge & Plaza (GHIB). It consists of about 15 acres of land.

The proposed Ojibway National Urban Park would include Ojibway Park, Spring Garden Natural Area, Black Oak Heritage Park, the Tallgrass Prairie Park, Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve, and Ojibway Shores. This piece of 33-acre greenspace and the last remaining, undeveloped natural shoreline in Windsor-Detroit currently belongs to the Windsor Port Authority.

The City of Windsor has been having discussions with Environment Canada to designate the space as a national urban park.

“Two signatures are required to transfer that property to the Ministry of Environment and then away we go,” said Masse. “With an operating agreement with the City of Windsor stuff can start happening, jobs can be created for an environmental assessments and improvements,” said Masse.

Masse maintains the Windsor Port Authority is standing in the way of the designation by attempting to sell the land to the City of Windsor. Masse said as federally owned property this is like trying to sell land to someone who already owns it.