Thank you. I didn't know I'd get this off the top.
Thanks very much to all committee members. I appreciate it.
Welcome, Minister. When we're in Parliament, we have to call each other “the honourable member”, while around a committee table it tends to be more informal, so it's nice to see you again, Cath, and good to see you, Jon.
Jonathan, I want to try to ask, in five minutes, some very focused things.
One is that as I read the budget, I was glad to see the money for Parks Canada, absolutely, but I spoke to the Finance Canada guys in the room when we were looking at it in the lock-up, and it looked like it was mostly or almost entirely for acquisition. It didn't flow into the day-to-day running of the department.
There were significant cuts in the 2012 budget. There were 10% cuts. That meant that Parks Canada lost all its scientific capacity in terms of people doing the research in our parks and checking on ecological integrity. I'd like to ask—if Finance Canada gave me the right information at the time—if there could be a view to increasing the operating budget of Parks Canada to ensure that there is enough staff on the ground.