Tuesday, February 28, 2012
'Why has the government failed to end the Russian ban on Canadian seal products?'
I posed the following question today, Feb. 28th, in the House of Commons:
Mr. Speaker, it has been more than two months since Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan informed the WTO that they would no longer import seal pelts, a ban they back-dated to August.
The loss of Canada's biggest market for seal products is a huge problem for Newfoundland and Labrador communities, and the government has done nothing to show its supposed support for a humane and sustainable seal harvest.
Mr. Speaker, two questions:
Why has the government failed to end the Russian ban of Canadian seal products?
Second question - why has it failed the communities that rely on the sealing industry?
Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade:
Mr. Speaker, unlike the NDP, our government remains committed to defending Canada's sealing industry.
The customs union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia has proposed trade sanctions on seal products.
On my instructions, Canadian officials are actively engaging with their international counterparts to convey our concerns over these proposed restrictions.
The Atlantic and northern seal hunts in Canada are humane, sustainable and well-regulated activities that provide and important source of food and income for families of coastal and Inuit communities.