Minister Kent, on behalf of all of the committee members here, thank you for appearing before us today.
Deputy Minister Boothe, we also appreciate the time that you and your colleagues are taking to prepare and inform us about the estimates.
Just as a preamble, I think it's important to note that on both sides of the table here, while we may not always agree on approach, I think everyone has the protection of the environment at heart when we're dealing with policy. I thought it would behove us to re-emphasize some of the key points that are outlined in the estimates and that lead to that approach.
In particular, I would like to highlight the efforts we've undertaken to tackle the challenge of global warming. Some of the efforts that we've undertaken and are reflected in the estimates include: the commitment to reduce Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020; investments in clean technologies, including next generation biofuels and carbon capture and storage; and active and constructive participation in United Nations negotiations to develop a new international climate change agreement.
I do think it's fair to say that these estimates reflect our government's intention to work with our partners at home and internationally for the continued protection of Canada's valued and diverse environmental legacy and for the greater advancement of worldwide environmental protection efforts.
Just to start my line of questioning, as there are many new members on the committee here, I would like to talk a little bit about the process by which estimates are developed. So I thought that first and foremost, Minister, perhaps you could take some time to do that.
Could you inform the committee about how the estimate process works? For example, how do your reports on plans and priorities work in conjunction with the departmental performance reports? Maybe you could take a few moments to elaborate on that.