Madam Speaker, I did wonder why my party asked me to comment on this bill, and the hilarious member for Drummond replied that my mischievous nature might be the reason that I, as a sovereignist, was asked to speak to the creation of a park in Ontario. I do not really know.
I am told that the member for Windsor West has been championing this cause since 2013. That is certainly commendable. Clearly the member is engaged in his community. Furthermore, I have looked over the information provided by the member, and there seems to be no doubt as to the ecological value of this site and the justification for turning it into a park. I am confident the information provided is accurate, and I am certain this proposal is of significant ecological value. The Liberal government has actually pledged to work with cities to expand urban parks as part of its goal to protect 25% of the country's lands and waters, so this bill is consistent with government policy.
However, the Bloc Québécois's position regarding Bill C‑248 is neutral in the sense that we have no intention of telling Ontarians or the people of Windsor how best to preserve and develop their own territory. Quite frankly, if you ask me, this is another example of centralist federalism. However, one must not bite the hand that feeds. We are all ears, as the saying goes.
Still, this does raise some questions.
I realize that there is no question period for this bill, but perhaps we could discuss it later. I have to wonder why the federal government should be the one to own more and more of our urban spaces.
I think it goes without saying that if the government wants to get involved and be more invested, even though this does not come under its jurisdiction, perhaps the best solution is to offer unconditional funding to Ontario to support this proposal from my colleague from Windsor West.
I think this raises another question that has not yet been answered. I have been listening to my colleagues' speeches this morning. I am wondering why the people of Windsor, the people of Ontario and the member who is sponsoring the bill would trust the federal government more than their own provincial government to create an urban park. Why not leave this up to the body that is supposed to manage the territory, in other words, the Ontario government?
I was saying that we are not necessarily against the bill, but we should acknowledge that it is not the route a sovereignist party would take, nor is it a route for any party that stands up for the provinces. It is not a route that my Conservative friends, who claim to be champions of provincial jurisdictions, would take. I do not see why we would accept having more spaces protected by the federal government. The Bloc Québécois does not think it is the federal government's responsibility to manage urban parks.
Simply put, if my NDP colleague had made a similar proposal about a park in a city in Quebec, the Bloc Québécois would be strongly opposed to the idea and would argue for ownership of the site to be transferred to the Government of Quebec or to a Quebec municipality. That has been the Bloc Québécois's historic position on national parks.
What we are asking is for ownership of all federal parks in Quebec to be transferred to the Government of Quebec or to Quebec municipalities, because the Government of Quebec is solely responsible for land management on Quebec soil. It is not the federal government, but the Government of Quebec, and Quebec's environmental laws, that should protect and enhance our own environment. I would note that in the last Parliament, I introduced a bill on environmental sovereignty.
Take, for example, the Lachine Canal park, which, as we know, is in the heart of Montreal and is a big part of its history, particularly for historically working-class neighbourhoods like Saint‑Henri, Pointe‑Saint‑Charles and Griffintown.
It would be more than appropriate for the City of Montreal and the relevant districts to administer the Lachine Canal park. That way, they could manage and develop it in tandem with the other neighbouring urban development projects.
I feel that the federal government is a level of government that is far from local areas and communities, and its powers should be limited to the state's prerogative powers. In a context of federalism, where the government is responsible for managing borders and conducting foreign, defence and monetary policy, should it also manage the minutiae of day-to-day administration? Quite frankly, I do not see how this is useful. We believe that it is not the federal government's responsibility to manage parks.
I will close by stating that, for me, and this is a criticism that I can direct to my NDP colleagues, this is rather indicative of the centralizing reflex. It is an unfortunate reflex that has led to today's inadequate funding for the health sector. The expectations for this sector continue to rise without the government necessarily providing the resources. With respect to this centralizing reflex, I hope that my NDP colleagues will be aware of it and, above all, of the fact that this is mainly a provincial jurisdiction.