News Release Article from  Fisheries and Oceans Canada

The Harper Government Demonstrates its Support for Canadian Sealers

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February 2, 2012

Ottawa, ON — Today, the federal Ministers responsible for Fisheries and Oceans and Ministers from the regions of Nunavut, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador reaffirmed the Government’s continued support for Canada’s seal harvest.

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Keith Ashfield, together with Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, Minister responsible for Nunavut, Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney, Minister from Quebec, and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Peter Penashue, Minister responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador, met with provincial counterparts, community leaders and Canadians involved in the sealing industry.

Seal pins were given to all Members of Parliament in the House of Commons, provided by the Government of Nunavut and the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association, to wear as a symbol of support for Canada’s sustainable seal harvest. Many of the community leaders were in Ottawa as participants in the Northern Lights 2012 Business and Cultural Showcase, which is taking place at the Ottawa Convention Centre today through to February 4.

“Our Government is committed to supporting economic opportunities in our northern and coastal regions. Sealing is an important economic driver in many communities of Canada’s East and the Eastern Arctic that makes responsible use of a healthy and abundant resource,” said Keith Ashfield, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

“Sealing is an integral part of Nunavut’s history and its economy. It continues to provide a significant source of food and fuel in the territory and is also an important source of additional income for residents through the sale of handmade garments and handicrafts which are representative of this vibrant Northern culture,” said Minister Aglukkaq.

“We stand behind this industry and recognize its importance in rural communities, such as the Magdalen Islands in Quebec; where the annual seal harvest has been part of the local economy for many years, and we support efforts to develop new products and new markets at home and abroad for this abundant natural resource, “said Minister Blaney.

“I am extremely proud to wear this pin today as a sign of solidarity with the men and women who are involved in the sealing industry. Sealing remains an important part of Canada’s culture, a way of life and valuable resource for families in Newfoundland and Labrador and across the country,” said Minister Penashue.

For more information about Canada’s sustainable seal harvest visit:
Seals and Sealing in Canada

For Broadcast: Today, Ministers of the Harper Government met with Inuit and Northern community leaders taking part in the Northern Lights 2012 Business and Cultural Showcase at the Ottawa Convention Centre. The Ministers reaffirmed the Government’s continued support for Canada’s seal harvest.

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For more information:

Frank Stanek
Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Ottawa
613-990-7537

Barbara Mottram
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Ottawa
613-992-3474

NR-HQ-12-03E

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