Third reading of Bill S-224, An Act respecting National Seal Products Day, as amendedPublished on 11 June 2015 Hansard and Statements by Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette (retired)
Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette:
Honourable senators, it is with great pleasure that I once again draw your attention to a subject that has been of great concern to me for many years. First, I would like to recognize the pride, the value and especially the courage of our seal hunters.
I will certainly not object to the fact that the government removed three words from the bill. The important thing, the main reason for the bill, is to recognize that seal hunting is a noble activity. People hunt seals in Northern Canada, in Nunavut, in Newfoundland, in the Magdalen Islands in particular, and in several other areas of Quebec.
We need to pay tribute to these people who earn a living in a very difficult way using methods approved by scientists. They have been trained by experts, university professors, which makes it possible to challenge the bad press that seal hunters get from the American lobby that is vegetarian and against eating any form of meat.
It is easier to attack seal hunters than beef or pork producers, since the American lobby might not have the resources to do battle against those producers. It prefers to attack the most vulnerable, those who will be hurt the most, those who are even more in need of support from the federal government.
I am very pleased to encourage you to support the creation of National Seal Products Day on May 20, just after the hunting season ends, in order to celebrate another hunting season, encourage the development of new markets — which is what the government has promised, even though there is still work to be done — and defend against the persistent challenge to this worthwhile occupation.
I commend all seal hunters, and I encourage all honourable senators to vote in favour of Bill S-224. Thank you.