A mayoral candidate revealed on Sept. 20 their plan to work with other elected officials and organizations to preserve and turn the Greenbelt into a national urban park if they are elected mayor.
Catherine McKenney is one of 14 candidates vying to become Ottawa's next mayor.
"Ottawa has the largest publicly owned Greenbelt in the world and it must be preserved," said McKenney. "At a time when our city urgently needs bold climate action, turning the Greenbelt into a national urban park will increase Ottawa's sustainability and protect our natural areas."
McKenney said that by making the Greenbelt a national urban park, it will also enhance the health and well-being of Ottawa residents, and offer mental health benefits that come with time spent in nature, such as stress reduction and opportunities for social connection.
"Additionally, the creation of a national urban park will provide Ottawa's tourism sector and economy with a competitive advantage." said McKenney. "Our city's economic prosperity rests on its ability to attract a talented workforce. And we know that quality of life, including access to outdoor recreation and nature, is ranked as a key factor when deciding to move to Ottawa."
McKenney told The Sam Laprade Show on Sept. 21 that the federal government has indicated it is looking to establish national urban parks across the country, and the Greenbelt is a prime example of this.
"I see this as a once in a lifetime opportunity," they said. "There is so much positivity around the Greenbelt, and in a way, it hugs our whole city."
Listen to the full interview with Catherine McKenney below: