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View Hunter Tootoo Profile
Ind. (NU)
Absolutely. I've met with the sealing industry, the seal harvesters from Newfoundland and Quebec and the Magdalen Islands. I've committed to them that we as a government do support a sustainable, humane, and well-regulated seal harvest. You used the word “hunt”. When my staff says that, I always say no, it's not a hunt. It's a harvest.
This is an industry that's taken quite a hit over last number of decades, thanks to market blockages to the EU. We were able to negotiate an indigenous exemption, so that through our market certification program we'll be able to import those products into the EU. In my meetings, I've talked with other stakeholders in southern Canada and have said that we want to do what we can to try to maximize on that exemption.
I met with the folks from Quebec two to three weeks ago. They said that one of the things they've come to realize is that the sealing industry is not a huge industry, and that they're kind of going at each other, trying to take the other guy down and get their market. They've told me that they realize they're small enough that they need to work together to try to expand the industry and market access in different parts of the world. That's something that I've committed to work with them on.
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