I think I come from one of the regions of Canada where there is probably the highest per capita trapping and hunting percentage of the population, and that's the Northwest Territories. We have a very large interest in that. The Government of the Northwest Territories has estimated subsistence hunting at $60 million a year. That's a considerable sum.
We're very interested. I think what I'm interested in, and what we've seen, is that climate change and habitat disruption have impacted us tremendously, especially with the caribou herds in the north, where there are bans on hunting now in many communities because caribou herds have declined precipitously. Some put it down to climate change. There are some very logical arguments on why that's happened in that regard. Others look at the impact of linear development of the diamond mining industry in the Slave geological province as affecting caribou migration.
Those are some of the issues we face. I think that's where I want to go with my questions.
Mr. Samson, when you were last in front of this committee, you talked about your concern about loss of habitat. You quoted Chief Seattle who said, “We do not inherit the world from our ancestors, but borrow it from our children.”
The Conservatives have weakened laws that protect habitat. What role should laws and regulations play in habitat protection?