Mr. Speaker, yesterday Canadians celebrated Earth Day. Canada's national heritage binds us together, and Earth Day highlights the importance of each individual taking personal action for protecting this precious gift.
Our government has also taken strong action to protect Canada's biodiversity and preserve its natural heritage. We have moved to protect an additional 150,000 square kilometres of parkland, a 54% increase to the existing lands and waters administered by Parks Canada. Also, we have established three new wildlife areas in Nunavut.
We will continue to move ahead on our commitment to engage Canadians in developing a national conservation plan, a coherent national framework for Canada's conservation efforts, and in budget 2012 we announced funding for the creation of Canada's first urban national park in the Rouge Valley in Ontario.
The Government of Canada congratulates Canadians who participate in Earth Day for their passion toward conservation and the long-term sustainability of Canada's environment.