National Seal Products Day Bill—Second Report of Fisheries and Oceans AdoptedPublished on 14 April 2016 Hansard and Statements by Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette (retired)
Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette:
I would like to begin by thanking the committee members who studied this issue, which has been near and dear to my heart for quite some time, as you all know. I would also like to tell them that, now that the seal hunt is under way, passing this bill will certainly provide some encouragement to our Magdalen Islanders, our northerners, and our Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who are going to be working in very difficult conditions.
It’s one thing to head to the office every morning, but it is something else entirely to go off in a boat or wait on an ice floe all day or even longer to hunt seal. It takes a lot of heart. This bill will give them a sense of validation and enable them to practice a centuries-old profession.
The seal hunt is a tradition in Canada, and I think that all senators here are proud of our easterners, especially, and the northerners who participate. I hope that this bill will be passed in the Senate and that the House of Commons will move it through the system quickly so that it can come into force on May 20.