First, thank you very much for being here today. It's a great pleasure and an honour as the CEO of Parks Canada to be here to speak about the legislation or the order in council that's been submitted to your committee.
This has been a long overdue process, from a Parks Canada perspective. We've been working with the Haida Nation for close to two decades now: first in terms of establishing the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, and for clearly more than 15 years in trying to establish together a national marine conservation area. This is the result of a collaboration between the federal and provincial governments initially, in terms of the federal-provincial agreement that established the area. We've been working with the Haida Nation and others--the fishing industry, the aboriginal community, and also with the environmental groups and local communities.
From a perspective of what you are asked to consider, it is an expansion of the current protected areas. The national park reserve is 1,500 square kilometres. What we have is a proposed expansion of 3,500 square kilometres, which is the marine component.
It will be subject to cooperative management with the Haida Nation. So we have an agreement among Parks Canada, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and also with the Haida Nation in terms of the overall management of the marine protected area.
In closing, I would say that it is the first national marine conservation area that we bring in the legislative process, following the passing of the bill in 2002. It is a great achievement for our organization, but also for our partnership with the Haida community.
Today, on this International Oceans Day, it is an honour for us to come here to discuss with you and answer your questions on this success by the entire Parks Canada team.
I have with me Mr. Kevin McNamee, Director of Parks Establishment, who has been working closely on that file for the last few years, inside as well as outside the organization, and Mr. Ron Hallman, Director General of National Parks whose contribution was also exceptional.
I shall now be pleased to answer your questions.