Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Belgium—yes, Belgium—must win this fight

Canada and Belgium are currently battling it out in front of the World Trade Organization. Belgium banned all Canadian seal products, to which Ottawa has taken umbrage. I have mixed feelings about this, but there's no doubt with whom my sympathies and support lie.
Canada is America's neighbor and usually a trustworthy ally. Canadians fought and died in World War II (on behalf of Belgians as well as the French and other Europeans), and they have been instrumental in helping to fight the Taliban since NATO's invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001. Belgium, meanwhile, rolled its eyes, sighed and pretended not to know. Belgium's capital city, Brussels, is the home of the dreary, soulless, socialist-fascist Eurocracy. More often than not, just the very mention of the name "Brussels" can cause hairs to stand up on British backs.
However, the annual harp seal hunt, which Canada not only supports but bankrolls, is barbaric. It's not solely about controlling numbers of seals; Canada is complicit in the fur trade. It has nothing to do with protecting the Inuit way of life. Newfoundland isn't known as an Inuit stronghold, yet it's Newfoundlander fishermen who commit the slaughter.
The U.S. has banned Canadian seal products since 1972, and thousands of American seafood retailers and restaurants have banned Canadian seafood. We are not only trade partners with Canada through the WTO but NAFTA as well. Yet you haven't heard about Canada threatening us, have you? Far easier to pick on little ol' Belgium. This is awfully strange behavior for a nation that prides itself on not being seen as a bully on the world stage!
But Canada is frightened. Germany, too, could impose a ban on seal products, and Belgium is very influential in the European Union—and the Canadians know it. If the EU as a whole bans Canadian seal products, that will be a severe blow for the Canadian fur/fishing industry.
That, however, is exactly the point. In order to try to end this yearly slaughter, it is incumbent upon us—Americans, British and Europeans alike—to twist Canada's arm to the point of breaking it. Luckily, that appears to already be happening, and in ever greater numbers. The surest way to end the Canadian seal-killing spree is to not purchase any Canadian seafood nor give patronage to any restaurant that still purchases Canadian seafood. In fact, don't even go to Canada; don't contribute to their economy at all. Canada is being stubborn, so they've got to be hit where it really hurts.
So, having said that, there's really only one thing left for me to say here:
Go Belgium.


Anonymous said...

Here, here, Hon. I really truly wish the EU would ban ALL Canadian products.

kristen said...

I don't even like sea food.

Mouse1972 said...

Well yes I fully agree that all Canadian seal products should be banned! I don't agree that all Canadian products should be banned by the EU. Britain itself until a few years ago was guilty itself for allowing fox hunts >.<