Sunday, September 3, 2006

Letter to Belgium on Canadian seal massacre

Letter to the Ambassador and Citizens of Belgium: I am Canadian; please DO ban Canadian seal products

3 September 2006

Dear Ambassador and Citizens of Belgium:

As a Canadian, and a wildlife preservationist, I am deeply grateful to your country for seriously considering the importation ban of Canadian seal products.

In fact, as a Canadian, I am writing to ask your country to further consider banning all products from my country until the heinous commercial seal massacre has been terminated.

Some may consider this an act of treason on the part of a Canadian citizen to make such a request upon a foreign government, but many who have heard my speeches at home and abroad understand that this is a plea from a concerned and informed Canadian for Belgium to help save the reputation of my country worldwide, since our own politicians would not take such a necessary step.

Please pay no attention to the shameful and shameless manipulations of fisheries minister Loyola Hearn, who is broadly reviled by most Canadians outside of his home province of Newfoundland, which I will dissect by the following three points:

1. Mr. Hearn is blaming the seals for the incompetence of his own ministry in the decimation of the Atlantic cod fishery. The seals, in fact are the benefactors of cod, serving as a population control of the twenty or so other species of cod-predators. Were the seals destroyed, these predatory fish would destroy what remains of the cod almost overnight.

2. Mr. Hearn's assertion that killing baby seals is the sealers' livelihood is blatantly false. The sealing season lasts for only two weeks per year. Killing seals is nothing more than a part-time job. Many sealers do it because they love to kill, not because they need to. A U.S. citizen, Ms. Cathy Kangas of Connecticut, has offered the sealers U.S.$16 million to stop the hunt, and they have flatly declined, proving that it is not an economic issue.

3. Mr. Hearn's worst manipulation of all is to try to "guilt trip" Belgium into submission. Historical and universal wisdom has it that when one does another a favor, it is a gift, not a bargain, not a trade. When a gift is given, one should NEVER expect, nor even hope for, a return. Hearn's mouthing of his very despicable words has dishonored all Canadians, and cheapened the sacrifices of those Canadian who have given their lives to a noble cause.

In closing, I would like to say one thing in which I do agree with Mr. Hearn, and that is to invite EU members to observe the seal massacre, which will prove even more convincing than our video, which, by the way, is less than one year old, not 20 years old as in Mr. Hearn's deceitful claim.

Most sincerely yours,

Anthony Marr
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Hearn invites EU members to observe seal hunt
Fri. Sep. 1 2006 12:59 PM ET
Canadian Press

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- Canada's fisheries minister has chosen a novel way to persuade politicians in Belgium to reconsider a plan to ban imports of Newfoundland seal products.

Loyola Hearn, in Brussels this week to meet with the European Union's fisheries commissioner to discuss foreign overfishing, said he reminded the Belgians of the many Canadian soldiers who lost their lives in Belgium during the First World War.

The Newfoundland MP said an import ban would amount to "taking the livelihood away from a number of Canadians whose family members left their blood on the fields here in Belgium, Flanders fields and other places.

"That got their attention,'' he told St. John's radio station VOCM. "But the thing is they are looking much more seriously at what we're saying and have agreed to look for the facts.''

Hearn said he extended an invitation to members of the European Parliament to visit Canada and learn more about the seal hunt.

"I've sort of challenged them to look for the truth, for the facts, and to visit Canada to make up their own minds. Don't base their decisions on ... what they heard and seen from lobby groups who are using 20-year-old videos.''

Hearn said he raised the issue of the seal hunt after he learned that members of the Belgian Parliament were in the process of introducing legislation to ban the importation of seal products.