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.