Green Party of Canada Must Stay the Course for the Seals

The Green Party of Canada is considering changing the policy on the Canadian seal slaughter after pressure has been brought to bear from Green Party members in Newfoundland and Labrador.

"The Party will lose a great deal of support, especially in Western and Central Canada if they renege on their commitment to oppose the annual slaughter of seals," said Captain Paul Watson founder and President of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Captain Watson was one of the original Green Party of Canada members in the early Eighties and represented the Green Party in four different elections - twice as the candidate for Vancouver Centre in the Federal elections, once for the Vancouver Parks Board, and once for Mayor of Vancouver in 1996.

"I have supported the Green Party in Canada because it is the only federal Party that represents environmental concerns and the only political party that opposes the Canadian seal hunt," said Captain Watson. "If the Green Party of Canada changes its policy to support the seal slaughter then I don't think I will be alone in withdrawing my support for the Greens. The Party will find that they will have more to lose from backing the seal hunt than from opposing it."

Jane McGillivray, who had won the Green party's nomination in the riding of Labrador, resigned her candidacy over the party's policy on sealing. Lori-Ann Martino, who had been an organizer for the Green party in Newfoundland and Labrador, said the policy prompted her to abandon a plan to run in a St. John's riding in January's federal election.

"This is no loss," said Captain Watson. "Why would a Party that is concerned for wildlife conservation want to run candidates who are in favour of the largest slaughter of marine mammals in the world? This is like a Peace Party advocate voting for war or a Socialist voting for fascism. The Green Party does not need the Martinos and the McGillivrays; the Party needs people who respect conservation and respect for wildlife."

Elizabeth May is the new leader of the Federal Green Party. "I supported her for that position. She is one of the best environmental activists in Canada. She is a long-time friend and she is a member of Sea Shepherd's Board of Advisors. I trust that she will support conservation efforts for the seals and I trust she will not compromise on this issue."

Elizabeth May is out of the country and not available for comment presently.

The Canadian seal slaughter has no place in the civilized world. Harp seal populations have been reduced to less than 10% of their numbers from before the time of the European colonization some five hundred years ago. The slaughter of seal pups is inhumane and it is a horrific obscenity.

Sea Shepherd is supporting European Parliament efforts to ban all seal products. The Society is supporting the international Boycott of Canadian Seafood products and tourism to Canada as effective tactics to pressure the government of Canada to end the slaughter.   
"As a Canadian whose family extends back to 1640 in Acadia, I have fought this savage and cruel slaughter all of my life," said Captain Watson. "If I have one wish to see fulfilled before I die it would be to see this horror abolished forever."