GATINEAU, QC, June 5, 2021 /CNW/ - "Today is World Environment Day and this year's theme of "Ecosystem Restoration" has a special resonance for Canadians. "Nature is a fundamental part of our national identity. Canadians understand the value of nature and wild spaces, and the essential role they play in our health and well-being. Part of building back better, after more than a year of pandemic measures, is the recognition of just how much healthy ecosystems are the foundation of every part of our lives. Yesterday, to mark the occasion, I planted a sapling at the Maplewood Flats Conservation Area with a local partner, the Wild Bird Trust BC. Whether we are planting trees in urban parks, restoring wetlands that prevent flooding, cleaning up plastic pollution or conserving vast tracts of boreal forest and keeping marine coastlands intact, we depend on nature for clean air and water, food and medicine, security from natural disasters, cultural connection, and personal peace of mind.