Senator Mac Harb has recently tabled a Notice of Motion directing the Senate Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans to find specific ways to help support Canada’s Inuit and aboriginal hunters affected by the European ban on commercial seal products. The motion was seconded by Senator Charlie Watt, who represents Northern Quebec in the Senate. Senator Watt also sits on the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.
Along with looking at ways to help these Canadians take advantage of their unique exemption as subsistence hunters, Senator Harb believes that his motion will compel the government to move past its futile efforts to challenge the European ban on commercial seal products at the World Trade Organization. As we know, this challenge will take several years, will cost millions of dollars, and is unlikely to overturn the carefully drafted EU ban.
Senators Watt and Harb will need the support of their colleagues in the Senate to ensure the motion passes and this issue is studied at the Committee. Hopefully the members of the Senate will support Canada’s Inuit and aboriginal communities by voting in favour of the motion. Canadians living in Canada’s Northern and Atlantic communities expect and deserve a proactive, viable strategy from their government as the commercial seal hunt comes to an end once and for all.