More Empty Promises? Some Skepticism about Mac Harb’s Argument to End the Seal Hunt
Corwin has weighed in with an interesting post on the Canadian seal industry. In my view, Mac Harb’s argument is unconvincing. If Harb is so sure that the commercial seal hunt is dying, then why is he so quick to want pull the plug? Why not let the industry play out, and allow a more natural generational shift in community custom (in both Aboriginal and Eastern communities) and industry evolution, rather than the shock of shutting it all down?
Have we seen this story before? Years of failed federal leadership (ie: to defend the seal hunt against disinformation campaigns) and, when things get too difficult, politicians proclaiming eastern industry “so marginal” that its better for “Canada” to shut it down, forcing people out of community and jobs? Ah yes, we have. Despite (meager) federal assistance programs, many outpost communities in Newfoundland and other rural areas have never recovered from the shock of the cod moratorium.
I am no lover of the seal hunt, but as an Atlantic Canadian who grew up in the midst of failed federal fisheries policy, I have a bullish sense of skepticism that soapboxers like Senator Harb are going to make good on promises to “transition” commercial sealers into “sustainable industry”. But shut it all down? Yes, sir. It’s in our National Interests.