Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

March 02, 2009 18:07 ET

Canada Disappointed With Vote by European Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 2, 2009) - The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today issued the following statement:

The Government of Canada is disappointed with today's vote by the European Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection to endorse proposed legislation that would ban the sale of seal products and limit the Inuit's ability to sell their products.

Canada has made numerous attempts to set the facts straight about the Canadian seal hunt and we have provided ample evidence of the humaneness and sustainability of the hunt. Unfortunately, this evidence is not yet understood in Europe. However, I understand the co-decision nature of the European legislative process, and this process is not over. Today's vote is but one of many steps and the European Parliament has not yet made its final decision in the matter. We hope the end result will be a positive one for Canada. Until then, we will continue to defend the rights of Canadian sealers to earn their livelihood.

Canada does not make trade decisions based on emotion and we expect others to act accordingly.

We urge European Union Parliamentarians to consider all the facts about Canada's seal hunt and move forward with a proposal that includes a derogation clause that would work for Canada.

We will continue to inform international discussions with factual material and we remain open to discussing the issue with any and all other governments to come to a reasonable compromise solution that recognizes the humaneness, sustainability, and lawfulness of the Canadian seal hunt. We will also continue to explore all possible legal avenues, including exercising our rights related to actions that are inconsistent with World Trade Organization obligations.

The Government of Canada remains steadfast in its commitment to defending the legitimate economic activities of Canadians, and it will take action to maintain market access for Canadian seal products.

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Phil Jenkins
    Media Relations
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Office of the Minister
    Ann Matejicka
    Director of Communications