If elected in June, the Ontario Liberals will build five new provincial parks and expand Kawartha Highlights Provincial Park.
The Ontario Liberal Party unveiled the plan’s details in a news release issued Thursday morning. It said that they would accept nominations on the location where the new parks will be located.
“Provincial parks help ensure Ontario’s natural beauty is protected for the next generation, and they hold a special place in the hearts of Ontario families,” Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca said in a statement.
“Ontario Liberals will create five new provincial parks when we form government in June, and we’re inviting you to help us decide where they should be.”
A party spokesperson said that the government would consult with its constituents about possible sites, recognizing that not all areas are suitable for a provincial park.
In the past year, Wilfrid Laurier University Associate Professor Christopher Lemieux said on CTV News Toronto’s podcast “Life Unmasked” that Ontario hasn’t witnessed an increase in the number of provincial parks in decades. At the same time, Lemieux said that there are not many opportunities to grow in the southern part of Ontario.
“There’s just not a lot of opportunity to establish new areas, and when one is established, it takes a long time. There’s a pretty extensive public consultation process that goes into that goes into place,” he said.
“But, you know, the biggest problem here is that there’s not a lot of land available to establish a new provincial park system, especially in the southern part of Ontario.”
The Liberals also said they will designate 30% of the land as protected areas by 2030 in a broader commitment to safeguarding the Greenbelt and “expand the size of existing provincial parks, including Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park near Bancroft.”
This article originally appeared on CTV News.