The Council of the Federation Reiterates its Position on the Canadian Sealing Industry



    OTTAWA, May 13 /CNW Telbec/ - The Council of the Federation held a
conference call on May 11, 2009 to discuss the proposed trade ban on seal
products by the European Union (EU).
    The discussion took place at the request of Newfoundland & Labrador
Premier Danny Williams and Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak.
    The Council expressed a strong objection to the EU's proposed ban which
is not based on fact or on scientific information. The proposed ban could be
inconsistent with World Trade Organization obligations and with the commitment
made by Leaders at the G-20 meeting on April 2, 2009 to refrain from imposing
new trade barriers.
    The Council indicated its support of the federal government's public
commitment to take action at the World Trade Organization should the EU
proceed with the proposed ban. The Council also agreed to work with the
federal government to reverse the position of the EU. Failing an acceptable
resolution, it was agreed that this issue will be addressed during the
comprehensive Canada-EU trade negotiations that were launched on May 6, 2009.
    The proposed ban on Canadian seal products by the EU would threaten the
economic viability of the Canadian sealing industry. It would also have a
devastating effect on the livelihood of thousands of Canadians in the many
northern and rural communities that depend on the seal harvest. The reported
exemption for Inuit communities within Canada does not yet permit commercial
sales onto the EU market for pelts harvested by Inuit.
    BC Premier Campbell was unable to participate in the conference call due
to the provincial election.

    The Council of the Federation is comprised of all 13 provincial and
territorial Premiers. It enables Premiers to work collaboratively to
strengthen the Canadian federation by fostering a constructive relationship
among the provinces and territories, and with the federal government.




For further information:

For further information: Hugo D'Amours, Press Secretary, Office of the
Premier of Québec, (418) 643-5321, hugo.damours@mce.gouv.qc.ca; Loretta
O'Connor, Executive Director, Council of the Federation Secretariat, (613)
563-4066, Loretta@councilofthefederation.ca


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