Mr. Speaker, last Friday it was my pleasure to announce the grand re-opening of Banff's Cave and Basin National Historic Site.
In 1883, Canadian Pacific Railway workers explored the site's warm mineral springs at Sulphur Mountain. They set off a chain of events that echoed eastward across the great plains, all the way to the ears of our country's founding prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald.
Just two years later, his government reserved a wide swath of territory surrounding the cave and basin. This was the genesis of Canada's national parks system, which today includes 44 national parks and 167 national historic sites.
Since 2006, our Conservative government has expanded the total area of our national parks by more than 50%, an area larger than Greece. These are Canada's gift to future generations and form the very fabric of our great nation.
I invite all Canadians and the world to visit the revitalized Cave and Basin National Historic Site in beautiful Banff National Park to see where this dream truly began.