The 2008 Canadian Election

This update was sent over by the International Fund for Animal Welfare's Campaigns Officer, Ellie Dickson

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Although polling shows that the majority of Canadians are opposed to Canada’s commercial seal hunt, the hunt continues to receive support from all major political parties in Canada. IFAW Canada is working to change this, by conducting ridings-based political campaigns in strategic parts of the country.

After successfully getting the commercial seal hunt on the agenda of candidates in the Vancouver Quadra by-election last March, IFAW Canada turned its attention to other summer by-elections. Our efforts in selected electoral ridings have included phone banks, DVD drops to selected households, public opinion polling, door-to-door canvassing, leafleting, putting up posters, holding rallies and asking seal hunt questions at all-candidates debates, and tabling events to distribute action cards. Our goal is to raise awareness about Canada’s commercial seal hunt and encourage voters to contact each of their candidates and ask them where they stand on this important issue.

We are pleased to report some significant steps in our campaign. In Guelph, Ontario, Liberal party candidate Frank Valeriote, spoke out publicly against the commercial seal hunt in a recent debate. Frank joins Mike Nagy, candidate for the Green Party of Canada, in opposing this hunt. While we are still waiting to hear the position of some candidates, it’s exciting to finally see the commercial seal hunt as an issue being taken seriously by candidates during an election.

Now that a general election has been called in Canada, we are working tirelessly to remind even more aspiring Members of Parliament that Canada’s commercial seal hunt is not only inhumane and unnecessary, but that it is opposed by a clear majority of Canadians. Our public opinion polling tells us that Canadians also object to their hard-earned tax dollars being used by the government to finance this wasteful industry. It’s time for Canadian politicians to start paying attention to the wishes of their voters, and commit to ending Canada’s commercial seal hunt, and work instead towards finding sustainable employment alternatives for those involved.

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