Stephen Harper celebrates Canada's gruesome seal slaughter

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      Prime Minister Stephen Harper deemed fit to hold today (February 2) a media event in Ottawa in order to trumpet his Conservative government's support for the bloody massacre known as the Canadian seal hunt.

      According to a news release from the Prime Minister's Office, seal pins were given to all MPs and senators by the Nunavut government and the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association in celebration of "Seal Day on the Hill".

      Harper states in the release:

      Our Government is firmly committed to defending the legitimate economic activities of Canadians. Canada’s sealing industry sustains thousands of Northern and East Coast jobs and the traditional way of life of a number of Aboriginal groups in our country. Our Government will continue to vigorously defend this humane and highly regulated industry and to seek new international markets for Canadian seal products, including China.

      But the International Fund for Animal Welfare, which works to end the seal hunt, says the government needs to get its head out of its ass and prepare for the "inevitable failure" of an embattled industry in decline.

      Sheryl Fink, director of IFAW’s Seal Program, states in a news release:

      Photo opportunities on Parliament Hill will get politicians in the news, but they will not help sealers. Challenging the EU ban at the WTO will make trade lawyers rich, but it will not help sealers. And continuing to subsidize an economically unviable industry with no future will cost Canadian taxpayers, but it will not help sealers.

      Here's a reminder of what Harper is celebrating, through photos and video of the 2011 seal hunt from IFAW.

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      Feb 2, 2012 at 5:06pm

      It is the pinnacle of ignorance

      Canadian Xpat

      Feb 2, 2012 at 9:23pm

      There is no difference between using seal products and cow based products. I am sure many of the straight's readers have leather jackets... The only difference between a factory abatoire and the pictures above is that there are pictures above and that the conditions above are probably more sanitary. The EU's position on seal products is a complete double standard especially as the seal hunt is supported by the World Wild Life Federation. I am a meat eater, who uses animal products and I am not going to pretend that this is any different.... its simply visible and a typical case of specious outrage on a wedge issue.


      Feb 2, 2012 at 9:51pm

      Our government makes me ashamed to be Canadian.


      Feb 2, 2012 at 10:24pm

      If we were truly concerned about our environment we would see the value of fur as a renewable resource and the dead baby seals as food for other creatures. Instead, people in fossil-fuel based Gore-tex coats will tut-tut over a cup of coffee in a disposable paper cup and wonder what's wrong with people. The answer being of course, we are complete hypocrites whenever our creature comforts run up against ecologically sensible decisions and I include myself in that harsh criticism.

      Bill Barilko

      Feb 2, 2012 at 11:08pm

      I see nothing morally repugnant about killing animals and using them to clothe and feed ourselves-it was ever thus.

      Coast Guarder

      Feb 3, 2012 at 12:57am

      Bill Barillko - using animals for food and clothing is one thing, I do both and would not judge someone else who did. what is morally repugnant though is the vicious and wanton manner in which the seal slaughter is carried out. there is something very wrong with anyone who is an advocate of animals left to slowly die in pain and agony or being hooked through the face and then dragged along beside a boat. there is no justifiable reason to take a pup away from its mother and toss it aside before bashing the mother's skull in and removing her skin. and just because something has been done for a long time doesn't mean it is proper, moral or positive in anyway. the commercial seal hunt is a nasty and brutal throwback and has no place in Canada today. I hate Stephen Harper and everything that doughy piece of trash stands for. this just reinforces what I already know.

      Fuvoted Forthisidiot

      Feb 3, 2012 at 6:20am

      To maintain status quo on the rate of harvest would've been acceptable. But to aggressively promote this "industry" to new international markets is crazy.....and pushed by our government?? They'll need to buy an industrial-sized grinder to shove the seals through once it peaks China's interest.


      Feb 3, 2012 at 7:33am

      The commercial seal hunt is about politics and politics alone. It is not about money because it doesn't make any. It's a massively subsidized, tax payer funded election issue for all parties. A suck up to the Maritimes while destroying Canada's international reputation. Blatant, horrific violence for an outdated and archaic fashion industry.

      And to those who think animal products for clothing are good for the environment, time to do some research. Why do you think that dead body you are wearing isn't rotting away? The process of tanning, dying, bleaching, etc is incredibly bad for the environment, especially our waterways. Not to mention the effect of slaughtering hundreds of thousands of animals who's natural habitat is melting away year after year.

      David in Nanaimo

      Feb 3, 2012 at 9:17am

      Canadian Xpat, I think there's a difference between wild animals and farmed animals which only exist because their body products will eventually be used. I know there's terrible cruelty in the way farm chickens and pigs are treated, but the mass slaughter of helpless baby seals (aged 12 days and above) is a crime against nature which puts Canada in a bad light internationally. The seal hunt is a dying industry heavily subsidized by the federal government and I think it's time to put that money into compensating and retraining the sealers rather than throwing it away on WTO lawyers, trade missions, unnecessary icebreaker rescues, etc.


      Feb 3, 2012 at 1:13pm

      In light of the fact the Harper government has had to contend with struggling Northern communities, and the deteriorating conditions in which the people, and many First Nations families, have to live (an obvious political sore spot); in light of the fact the Harper government has pledged to uphold its conventional, highly conservative, economic viewpoint and unconditionally supports this industry despite having little economic bearing on Canada and despite international outcry; in light of the fact that the Harper government is constantly in election mode (supporting this industry in the North helps to buy votes in the North); this then highlights the fact that this is not an issue of morality or ethics for Harper's government. This is ultimately not about economics either. It is instead, about holding onto, sustaining, and growing the Harper government's power base, at all costs. Harper is shrewd, calculating, highly intelligent and has fallen deeply, madly in love with power.