The Pamela Anderson Foundation
February 29, 2016
His Excellency Justin Trudeau Prime Minister of Canada
Congratulations on your new role as prime minister. I admire your progressive views on LGBT rights and your compassionate stance on the Syrian refugee crisis. I also commend you for naming a gender-balanced Cabinet, as you said, "Because it's 2015." There's another issue that has sullied Canada at home and abroad for years, which I hope you'll address: wasteful government bailouts of the nearly extinct East Coast commercial seal trade. As a concerned Canadian and as an honorary director of PETA, which has more than 280,000 members and supporters in Canada, I'd like to meet with you in person to discuss this issue.
All major markets have rejected seal products: The U.S., the European Union, and Russia have all banned seal-fur imports because of animal-welfare concerns. Former Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea admitted that China has said no to seal meat despite years of marketing efforts to create a demand there. World leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, have expressed opposition to the industry, and even local sentiment is changing, as this editorial shows. Still, the government pours millions of tax dollars into propping up this dying industry, which has long cost Canada more money to support than it brings in.
I urge you to usher in a new era of fiscal responsibility and kindness by ending federal subsidies of the commercial seal slaughter, as Norway recently did. This tiny off-season trade makes up less than 1 percent of Newfoundland's economy. Might you be available to discuss cutting or phasing out subsidies to this controversial, faded off-season trade? The money could be much more wisely spent promoting other Canadian businesses with a brighter future that would make the world see us as the sophisticated, enlightened modern country that we want to be. I hope to hear that you will be available in the coming weeks to discuss this important issue in a more official setting.
Thanks for your time and consideration.