I am. Thank you.
Good morning. I would like to begin by saying how honoured we are to be here this morning on unceded lands of the Algonquin, Anishinabek people. I'd also like to express our thanks to the chair and to the members of the committee for inviting us to speak with you today.
It's a real privilege to appear before the committee, and we are grateful for the opportunity to discuss the agency’s mandate, priorities and some of our recent accomplishments.
In just a bit of housekeeping, I would like to outline that we've provided the members with a copy of our presentation. As well, hopefully, you've all received a USB stick that has a presentation and some visuals of Parks Canada and gives an outline of some of the things we do that are a little less well known. Finally, I believe there are notes that have been provided to the clerk.
Now, if I may, I will quickly walk the committee through the mandate and overarching scope of Parks Canada. I'll be followed by Darlene, Stephen and Michael, who will highlight some of the major mandate areas of Parks Canada.
To begin, the Parks Canada Agency is responsible for protecting nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage and sharing the stories of these treasured places with Canadians. In doing so, the agency fosters public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment in ways that ensure ecological and commemorative integrity for today and for the future.
The Parks Canada team is over 5,000 strong, and we're proud to be entrusted with the stewardship of Canada’s national treasured places, a stewardship we share in many places with indigenous peoples.
The agency manages some of the finest and most extensive natural and cultural heritage places in the world, which include 47 national parks; 171 national historic sites, which include nine heritage canals; five national marine conservation areas and one national urban park.
The protected areas help restore the health of ecosystems, build their resilience and contribute to the recovery of species at risk—
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