When will Barack Obama quit his assault on rural Canadians?


When a Liberal senator tried to move a bill last month that would’ve ended the seal hunt, seven different Conservative MPs were sent up to express their genuine outrage with the senator, Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal party. Elizabeth May and Warren Kinsella were singled out for scorn too.

“This is appalling,” gasped Gail Shea, the Fisheries Minister.

“When will the Liberal leader quit his assault on rural Canadians?” begged Chris Warkentin.

For good measure, Shea’s department sent out three press releases attacking the Liberal side (an improper use of government resources that would eventually necessitate an apology).

One trusts that the Prime Minister’s finely tuned moral compass will demand an equally forceful response to news that Barack Obama’s not much of a fan of the seal hunt either. The letter in question surfaced two weeks ago and received coverage in Newfoundland the next day.


When will Barack Obama quit his assault on rural Canadians?

  1. Well, when will he?

    (But seriously: are you really now suggesting that there’s something inappropriate or untoward in having a different policy opinion from a foreign leader?)

  2. Me thinks soemone is not paying attention as Harper sent out his Cabinet Minister in charge thereof just a few days ago and slammed the yanks and the euros – defending in the strongets of terms the hunt! Watch CPAC

  3. His moral compass is spinning.

  4. Unless there are sound ecological reasons for culling seals, we should do away with the seal “hunt”. The seal killing industry represents mere pocket change, and its damage to our national image outweighs its negligible economic benefits.

    • Why just the seal hunt? Why not mink, fox, deer and wild turkeys?

      • Mink are farmed. Deer are ubiquitous, completely unthreatened, and are hunted as opposed to slaughtered. Commercial fox hunting is severely restricted. Wild turkeys are protected, and have little commercial value.

        The seal hunt is by far the most visible controversy. As an international PR move, a seal hunt ban would do wonders for Canada’s image.

        • See, I’m almost taking the opposite position. Yeah, the seal hunt doesn’t matter materially, but as a symbol it’s about the only thing we have left to show the world we’re not just a crappy little colony doing whatever our bigger brothers want and then saying it’s “soft power”. We’re doing something! People are mad about it even though it doesn’t impact them! We’re saying “screw you hosers!” I love it!

          • There’s gotta be a better way to do that.

        • Seals are also ubiquitous and completely unthreatened. How do you distinguish between “hunted” and “slaughtered”? I’m missing a nuance here.

          • Yes, it’s not like the seals can get away any more than cows or pigs. It’s all slaughter…

        • So if seals could run, it would be OK?

          • There is indeed a subtle difference between farming domestic animals for slaughter and killing defenseless seal pups in their natural state in the wild, skinning them for their hides and leaving their bloody carcasses on the ice as waste.

    • Sound ecological reasons for culling seals? Are you kidding?

      Er, yeah, yes there is. Did you know, for example, that seals encountering a school of cod, will eat the livers or stomachs only, of every one of them, leaving the entire school to decay on the sea bed? It’s not so much the weight in cod a seal can eat, its the waste in cod a seal doesn’t eat.

      Add to that the fact that a seal still eats (or doesn’t eat) the same quantity of cod, even though the number of cod has been vastly depleted. And the yearly cull has kept the seal population at about the same strength as it was before the depletion of cod. Makes it fairly easy to see why the cod stock hasn’t recovered so well, eh?

      • Other than John Efford, is there ANY back-up for that claim?

        And even if it’s true… so what? They are seals. They’ve been eating the same way since before people started being interested in the same cod.

      • Did you know, for example, that seals encountering a school of cod, will eat the livers or stomachs only, of every one of them, leaving the entire school to decay on the sea bed?

        Those selfish, wasteful seals make me so angry.

  5. Could someone please publish how much $$ money Newfoundlanders make from this hunt? How much does it pay?

    That would help to put things into perspective. It appears to be a gold mine, from the way they’ve been protecting it.

    It’s time to end it – it’s barbaric, cruel, and an outward, international display of the barbaric nature of the people who do it.

    • It doesn’t have to be a huge source of income. It just has to be income for the right type of people, who are at odds with the wrong type of people.

      I hate to break it to you, but certain segments of the political left are often their own worst enemy in terms of getting reforms through.

    • Newfoundlanders would not be the people hurt the most – Why on earth do people keep forgetting that it is the Inuit that need this harvest the most for many it can mean the difference between eating or not!!!!!! and for many it is almost the sole source of income. It’s an animal folks just like any other – if it were snakes or something no one outside of a few people would care in the least. But no the left wing nutties crowd see’s the cute little baby seals with those big eyes – and go all shivery inside. Quite frankly there an awful lot of people that have spent their lives in food-marts and lost all connection to nature – I think every person should have to visit a slaughterhouse and actually see for themselves where their burgers come from and until then they forfeit all rights to even have an opinion when it comes to this topic.

      • I agree. Log onto a horse slaughter site and watch videos. Europeans like horse meat, and we supply them with cheap horse meat. Increasing numbers of immigrants want horse meat.

        I just think it’s a stupid waste, not to mention a stupid waste of brain power. Educate people in Newfoundland so they can do something different. .

        It’s just another example of Canada wasting its natural resources to feed some other market. Surely to God there has to be a more creative way for Newfoundlanders to make a living – than feeding a fashion industry? There is so little thought given to this area – developing technologies, new markets to create jobs; we just keep hacking away at the same old crap. Lumber, fish, grain, seals, we are the “water bearers and wood hewers of the world” forever.

  6. “When will Barack Obama quit his assault on rural Canadians?”

    What an idiotic headline.

    • Wherry often gets carried away.

      • I appreciate your putting up with me all the same, CR.

        • The pleasure is all mine. I may roll my eyes from time to time, but I am undeniably a fan of BTC.

    • I agree.

  7. as soon as the barbaric slaughter is ended re: headline

  8. I have one reason to keep around the seal hunt, no matter what your feelings about it.

    I think we can all agree that the hunt for baby sealskin is a high-end fashion, not a subsistence hunt. So in other words it is trade good which people are willing to pay a high cost. Right now by having it legalized you can put strict limits on how many seals are culled, and you give locals an incentive to report poaching operations, because it jeopardizes their own stocks.

    If the trade in seal skin is made illegal, what is to stop it from being treated like the trade in other types of banned substances such as drugs or rare animal parts? How do you enforce the law over such a broad territory?

  9. Sealers and their supporters should realize that they are being herded to death by their own government, for no other cause than misery. It’s not freedom to kill seals that sealers fight for, nor prosperity or happiness. It is death alone they fight for. They kill for the god of death. That’s all.

    The Government of Canada has lied about the seal hunt. A few Canadians believed them. The government has used the seal hunt. Sealers believed them. Sealers died.

    The Government of Canada should not be allowed to lie, to give a totally false image of the seal hunt, to publicly perjure themselves, to utterly misrepresent the humaness of the hunt and their ability to manage it…and all the while trying to make anti seal hunt protesters look bad, and animal welfare organizations look evil.

    If the Government of Canada was truly wise, their premise should be the will of the majority of people of Canada, not the seal hunt, not the sealers, not the few seats in Atlantic Canada, and least of all the media.

    The Government of Canada must end the bloody seal hunt, then and only then, can Canada take its place within the family of great nations.

    • There are all kinds of Canadians shocked over the brutal killing of dogs and cats in China — animals stripped of their skin while they’re still alive. All sorts of petitions and videos.

      Well, guess what? We do it here. Not just on the ice floes, but in the slaughterhouses.

    • I believe this is the first time I’ve seen the argument made that the seal hunt must be stopped because it is a pagan sacrifice to the god of death. Surely the fact that it is a religious rite makes it more defensible, not less!

      Who says this debate has played itself out?

    • Funny how rounding up all those ugly Alaskan King Crabs, dumping them into a pit with thousands of others, then, eventually, after several days of the most tortuous conditions, dropping them alive and kicking into a pot of boiling water, doesn’t raise your hackles.

      But, they’re UGLY, and not only that, they’re yummy!

      Nobody needs to eat crab in the same way that nobody needs to wear sealskin. Same wild animal aspect, same lack of “sport” to it. Yet only the ‘cute’ animal gets the hue and cry.

      • Crabs have primitive little crab brains, so I don’t really care about their discomfort.

        • A study recently has shown that those primitive little crab brains feel pain and do what they can to avoid it. Not that there’s much they can do in a pot of boiling water, mind you.

          So, only cute and extremely intelligent animals are worth saving? The dumb ugly ones, no matter the job they have in the world order, are disposable?

          Don’t get me wrong, crab legs are my absolute favourite food and I certainly don’t want to see an end to the crab industry.

          • I prioritize the suffering of intelligent, big-brained mammals over the nerve impulses firing within a primitive, pea-sized crab brain. Perhaps I’m just being sentimental because I’m a dog owner.

            Seriously, if anyone is horrified by the “suffering” of crabs then it’s best not to think of the sheer magnitude of the “suffering” that quintillions of animals have experienced over the last billion years or so. Most animals live short and violent lives – it’s called nature.

  10. mammals first my friends

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