Comox Valley Demo on Saturday

Harp SealOn Saturday, March 14, 2009, at 2:30 pm, Comox Valley residents will meet at the corner of Cliffe Avenue and the 17th Street Bridge in Courtenay for a demonstration of opposition to the federal government-sanctioned east coast commercial seal hunt. This event is a joint action of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Citizen Support for Marine Mammal Protection (CSMMP). Other gatherings of concerned citizens are scheduled to take place simultaneously from coast to coast and throughout the weekend to send a message of public will to Ottawa: "Not with Our Tax Dollars!"

"Senator Mac Harb made history on March 3rd by being the first Canadian politician to propose legislation that would put an end to the commercial seal hunt," says event co-coordinator, Mike Nestor. "There has never been a more crucial time for all Canadians of conscience to declare their support for an end to this largest remaining slaughter of marine mammals on the planet."

Harb's private member's bill was introduced in the Senate on the same day the European Parliament's internal market committee voted to strictly ban trade in seal fur and all related products. Exemptions would apply to traditional subsistence hunting for Inuit and other aboriginal communities, but the Canadian government has vowed to fight any successful European-wide ban.

"Our politicians continue to spend our tax dollars propping up this dying industry in spite of dwindling markets for fashion furs," says Nestor. "And in spite of international recognition that these defenseless animals sometimes suffer under extremely brutal conditions."

"It is misleading to suggest that encouraging a switch from the use of hakapiks to guns this year will ensure a reduction in suffering out on the ice flows," adds CSMMP founder Fireweed. "Legal hunt observers have documented seal pups not killed instantly by gunshot managing to escape in agony to open waters where they drown."

Canadian tax payers' dollars would be better spent on license buy-backs and retraining out-of-work fishers. CSMMP hopes people will rise to the occasion and come out to demonstrate on Saturday. For further information about the "Not With Our Tax Dollars!" campaign, contact CSMMP at 1-250-335-1209.

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