Thank you, Madam Chair, and thank you, Madam Minister, and your officials for being here. It's always nice to see Jonathan, and it's always nice to see Daniel because I see him frequently in our beautiful city.
My first questions to you, Madam Minister, relate to part of your mandate, which is to treat our fresh water as a precious resource that deserves protection and careful stewardship. Yet your government's budget in the main estimates allocate only meagre monies, and it appears to be only for the Great Lakes and Lake Winnipeg.
As you're aware, the result of the UNESCO investigation triggered by the Mikisew Cree has issued a very stern warning to your government. They have stated that there's a good chance our country will lose the designation or at least have Wood Buffalo listed as a site in danger unless you immediately—and these are their words—“develop a structured and adequately funded” action plan guided by their 17 very strong recommendations. Those include doing a study of the environmental flow assessment for the Peace, Athabasca, and Slave; conducting environmental and social impact assessments of site C, particularly in Alberta and in the Peace-Athabasca delta; and study the sufficient water supply for transporter communities and impacts on additional harvesting.
UNESCO also called on you to directly engage the indigenous peoples in the preparation of this plan, yet I hear from the Mikisew Cree that they have not yet been reached out to.
Can you tell me what action has been taken to make sure there is a timely response to UNESCO?