Mr. Speaker, the bill is important in the broader context of the commitment to nature that the government has demonstrated through the significant amount of funding that has been put into the nature agenda.
The bill would enable us to more rapidly protect, on an interim basis, areas of high ecological significance to ensure that ecologically significant attributes and biodiversity are not affected during the process of assessing permanent status.
The bill is important for us in terms of meeting our international commitment, which is to protect 10% of marine areas by 2020. We are now at 8.27%. This is well beyond where we were in 2015, which was less than 1%. We are absolutely committed to achieving the 2020 target.
We will then be engaging in a conversation about what the target beyond that should be and how we will go about reaching that. We have set standards in terms of what can take place within these conservation areas, which I believe will set a standard for the international community to ensure there is integrity to these concepts.
Canada is more than punching above its weight in the context of this conversation.