Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise in this place to present a petition from many people in the Ottawa area. This is in fact one of many petitions I have received on this issue, which has also been presented by other members in this place.
The cutting down of beautiful urban trees is a problem in any city in Canada, but in Ottawa Queen Juliana Park is more than a park. It is also a memorial and an honouring of the Canadians who died in the liberation of the Netherlands in the war. Queen Juliana Park was established to honour the 7,600 Canadians who died.
It is now slated that 750 mature canopy trees will be cut down in order to accommodate a decision that was the reverse of what was recommended by the National Capital Commission, which recommended 53 acres of surplus federal office land at Tunney's Pasture. Instead, the city council of Ottawa chose to cut down the trees at Queen Juliana Park to build parking lots and open up the door to more development.
The petitioners ask that the federal government assist in having an inquiry into why the National Capital Commission recommendation was overturned, restore the National Capital Commission recommendation of Tunney's Pasture as the ideal place for an Ottawa Hospital and maintain Queen Juliana Park and the entire Central Experimental Farm areas as much-needed urban green space for Ottawa.