NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ON, June 5, 2017 /CNW/ - The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, issued the following statement to mark World Environment Day:
"I'm honoured today to mark World Environment Day, and I'm honoured that Canada is the host country. This year's theme 'connecting people to nature' deeply resonates with Canadians.
"We are all committed to conserving and protecting the beauty and biodiversity of our planet. Our commitment reflects who we are, what matters to us, and it is rooted in our rich, diverse history and culture.
"We work together to protect nature, make meaningful steps towards Indigenous reconciliation, enhance air quality and clean water, and provide international leadership on climate change.
"Indigenous peoples are the first stewards of our water, air, and land, and we must work in partnership to protect our environment. The 150 years since Canada's Confederation provides an opportunity to make meaningful steps towards reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. The Indigenous Guardians Program is one example -- Guardians work as caretakers and stewards of the environment protecting lands, waters and resources for future generations.
"This year, as we mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation, Parks Canada is offering free admissions to our national parks, marine conservation areas, and historic sites across the country throughout 2017. I encourage Canadians and people around the world to take advantage of this chance to explore and discover the beauty of this country's natural and unique environment.
"As we celebrate today, the effects of climate change can already be seen, and we have taken action.
"We have taken steps to enhance air quality by working with provinces and territories to set stronger air quality standards.
"We have enhanced our water resources. Through the Oceans Protections Plan, we protect our coasts to ensure safe and responsible commercial use, consistent with environmental sustainability, in collaboration with coastal and Indigenous communities. We are better protecting freshwater resources, including in the Great Lakes and Lake Winnipeg basins.
"We signed a groundbreaking Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change with provinces and territories, and with the support of Indigenous peoples.
"We will continue to take leadership roles internationally on climate change. We committed $2.65 billion by 2020 to help developing countries, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable, transition to low-carbon economies and build climate resilience.
"From improving air quality, to conserving ecologically significant areas, to driving innovation in clean technologies for all sectors of the economy, Canadians are taking action on a global scale.
"For the Government of Canada, this means continuing our work with provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, businesses, communities and all Canadians to build a strong, competitive, and environmentally-sustainable economy.
"I encourage Canadians, and people around the world, to enjoy World Environment Day, to take steps large or small to connect with nature today and every day, and to remain vigilant in your efforts to protect and preserve it for the benefit of future generations.
SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada
For further information: Marie-Pascale Des Rosiers, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 613-462-5473; Media Relations, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll free)