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Friday, January 27, 2012

Reality check: Conservatives have a consistency problem with the seal hunt

Reality check: Conservatives have a consistency problem with the seal hunt

January 25, 2012

Yesterday three Conservative Ministers took time away from important meetings with First Nations leaders to launch a partisan attack on NDP MP Ryan Cleary – an MP known for his strong advocacy for a sustainable and humane seal industry – for pointing out how foreign bans on the seal hunt may one day make the industry unviable.

But what have Conservative Ministers said about this?

“Mr. Speaker, we are here today for obvious reasons that relate to the recent vote in the European parliament, which, if effected, would place a devastating blow and some would even suggest an end to the seal hunt in Canada...Inuit hunters themselves have said that if this ban goes into place, it would effectively end their market.”
– Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade, Hansard, May 11, 2009

Or Conservative MPs?

“If this [European Parliament] resolution carries and the seal hunt is dead in Canada, and it will be if this resolution goes to the very end, who will do the cull?”
– David Tilson, Hansard, May 5, 2009

And as for Conservatives claiming to be champions of the industry, let’s see what industry representatives have said:

“First and foremost, we have always maintained that the federal government’s position on seals has been weak…One of the issues we have with the federal government, and I related this to Minister Fast and Minister Penashue in September, the federal government does not appear to be serious about the issue...”
– Frank Pinhorn, Executive Director Canadian Sealers Association. 15 Nov, 2011

“We put forward a proposal to DFO back in 2010, which was never acknowledged. That proposal meant taking industry and participants and using the expertise of all those involved to develop a plan to address the grey seal issue. There was no response.”
– Eldred Woodford, President Canadian Sealers Association. 15 Nov, 2011

As usual, Conservatives have one set of rules for themselves and another for everyone else.

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