Date: March 10, 2007
ADDED NOTE: On July, 31st 2007 The Federal Government of Canada initiated WTO action against Belgium pertaining to its ban of seal products. Good job everyone!
In reality, this is more of a request than it is an article.

The pending legislation in various European countries is not going to disappear without STRONG efforts on the part of the Canadian government. One of the strongest tools available to Canada is a demand for "World Trade Organization consultations" on the issue of trade bans.

We are encouraging all to write to Ministers Emerson, Hearn and MacKay (email addresses provided) asking that the Government of Canada institute "World Trade Organization consultations" immediately with those countries passing legislation supporting a ban of Canadian seal products.

The letter below is a template. However, we encourage you to use your own wording.

Dear Minister:

On January 25 the Belgian Parliament passed a law banning the import of Canadian seal products. We are told that Belgium has imposed this import ban because sealing is immoral and unethical, and that allowing seal products to be imported into Belgium would pose a threat to "public decency". This is crazy!!!

We find it hard to believe that the world trading community finds the Belgian justification for this sort of trade restriction acceptable - or legal. Please assure us that Canada will IMMEDIATELY demand that Belgium explain itself before the WTO, before other countries start to think that if Belgium can get away with this abuse of international trade laws, so can they.

Sincerely,

E-mail Addresses:
Loyola Hearn
Minister of Department of Fisheries and Oceans
hearn.l@parl.gc.ca

David L. Emerson
Minister of International Trade
Emerson.D@parl.gc.ca

Peter Mackay
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mackay.P@parl.gc.ca
 
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