Statement from NDP MP Fin Donnelly, opposition critic for fisheries and oceans, on Canada’s commercial seal harvest
January 25, 2012
The NDP has a long standing position in support of a humane, market driven and sustainable commercial seal harvest. We also strongly defend the rights of the Inuit to engage in their traditional and commercial seal harvest. And as the industry faces challenges and changes, we must all be focused on working together with those who rely on the seal harvest for their livelihoods to address these very real challenges.
New Democrats believe that it is wrong to try and politicize this issue and play divisive partisan games. Conservatives attempting to do so are not helping or supporting sealers and their communities. These out-of-touch Conservative Ministers should be ashamed of themselves for releasing a hypocritical statement that puts wedge politics ahead of the well-being of Canada’s East Coast communities.
Just last November, the Executive Director of the Canadian Sealers Association testified before a Parliamentary Committee that “the federal government’s position on seals has been weak,” the Harper government “does not appear to be serious about the issue” and “are either afraid of it or ashamed of it.”
As for comments from local Newfoundland NDP MP Ryan Cleary, as he said repeatedly, he fully supports our position. He was doing his job as an MP, raising important issues about the future of this industry in light of the very real challenges it faces. Taking these comments out of context in order to play cynical political games does a disservice to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and everyone involved in this industry.