Politicians hold seal tasting

OTTAWA — Canadian politicians gathered Wednesday for a seal-tasting celebration in defiance of foreign critics.

OTTAWA — Canadian politicians gathered Wednesday for a seal-tasting celebration in defiance of foreign critics.

Members of different parties got together on Parliament Hill in defence of the country’s much-maligned seal hunt.

They first watched a movie about the hunt — and then they feasted on samples of the blubbery mammal.

The event was organized by the Bloc Quebecois, but members of other parties showed up including two Conservative cabinet ministers.

Fisheries Minister Gail Shea was there, as was Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan.

Canadian politicians have almost unanimously defended the industry in the face of a ban by the European Union.

Some have questioned why that continent — which introduced the world to bullfighting — should have any right to question what they call an ethical hunt.

The hunt has taken a hit in recent years, and by last year only accounted for $5.5 million in exports to the European Union. With the EU’s new ban, hunters will likely lose 25 per cent of their sales.

The hunt has traditionally supported communities in the country’s poorest regions, along the East Coast and in the Inuit North.

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