Heal Our Planet Earth
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Letter to the Green Party of Canada - re. the seal massacre

4 October 2006

To: Ms. Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada

Dear Ms. May:

It is with dismay that I read the article below regarding the federal Green Partyís plan to soften its opposition to the Canadian commercial seal massacre.

While Iím writing this, I am conducting my 4th Compassion for Animals Road Expedition (CARE-4) through 35 American states in 5 months - as a Canadian. This politically expedient but morally regressive move on the part of the Canadian Green Party has caused me to hang my head even lower in apology on your behalf, as I walk amongst and speak to American animal advocates from coast to coast. And they too, are slumping in their seats in darkened and deepened despair.

Back in 1996, I was the campaign director of Western Canada Wilderness Committee leading the Ban-Bear-Hunting-in-BC Referendum Initiative.

Resulting partly from my 50-cities-in-8-weeks road tour throughout the BC interior, we generated a province-wide volunteer force of 1,800. This may look like a huge task-force on the scale of the movement, but on the scale of the project, we needed some 4,000.

Thus, we asked the BC Green Party to endorse the campaign and to offer local help from city to city. The BC Green Party refused, citing possible damage to party support in the pro-hunting districts.

The result is a failed campaign, and still zero votes for the BC Green Party. If not for the tragic, lose-lose nature of the situation, I would have laughed out loud upon receipt of the refusal. I did my level best to refrain from using the word "cowardice". About the most diplomatic statement I could make back to the BC Greens was, "What do you have to lose?"

To me, and to millions of others, the Green Party is not as much a political party than an icon of compassion, courage, conscience, ethics, enlightenment and progressive thinking in the political arena. Your political move will not benefit you politically, but it will tarnish you if not destroy you morally and ethically.

What is the Green Partyís highest political aspiration in this regard? That it will gain a seat in Newfoundland? The Polar Ice Cap will stop melting first. In Canada, the Green Party will always lose politically, but it could always shine as a guiding light for the entire Canadian civilization as long as its leaders do not dim their own brilliance.

The forces of compassion around the world have rallied to stop this most barbaric and largest marine mammal slaughter in world history, thus cleaning the name of Canada for us ashamed Canadians. Your self-defeating move will set back the movement by years, and alienate international support for your party for decades.

I hope that you will reconsider this matter with your utmost seriousness and wisdom, bearing the big picture very much in mind. There may be "other issues" within Canada, but in the international arena, there is none more prominent than the hugely despised Candian commercial seal massacre.

Sincerely,

Anthony Marr, founder
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
415-686-8789


Subject: May softens Green view of seal hunt (CBC
news)

[contact info. for Green Party at end of this e-mail]
May softens Green view of seal hunt
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2006/10/03/greens-seals.html
Last Updated: Tuesday, October 3, 2006 | 9:13 AM NT
CBC News

The new leader of the federal Green party is adopting a more conciliatory stance toward the Canadian seal hunt.

Delegates to a Green convention last year called for the abolition of the hunt, which triggered the resignation of one Newfoundland and Labrador candidate in this winter's election campaign, as well as that of a key party organizer.

Green party leader Elizabeth May said she will appeal to Green party members to endorse a different policy on sealing.
(Tom Hanson/Canadian Press)

Elizabeth May, who was elected party leader in August, said she supports a limited hunt.

"I'm probably the only leader of the Green Party of Canada that has friends who are sealers, [so] I'm going to take a very different view on this," said May, a native of Cape Breton.

"The party needs to do some work internally, to ensure that our policy is understood, is respectful, and we may have to change our policy a bit through that dialogue as well."

The party's stand on the seal hunt caused an uproar in Newfoundland and Labrador, including within the party ranks.

Jane McGillivray, who had won the party's nomination in the riding of Labrador, resigned her candidacy over the party's policy on sealing.

Lori-Ann Martino, who had been an organizer for the Green party in Newfoundland and Labrador, said the policy prompted her to abandon a plan to run in a St. John's riding in January's federal election.

Martino said the Greens have to do more to restore their credibility to win the favour of voters in Newfoundland and Labrador.

"People were given a message that the Green party is not interested in hearing the voices of Newfoundland, and in fact they were willing to go so far as to label Newfoundlanders as barbarians on national news," Martino said.

May said the seal hunt can be as emotionally divisive as abortion.

"The position and the policy of the party [are] fairly well-rooted. My position is that we need to be in a more respectful dialogue," she said.

"The seal hunt is an enormously complicated issue and you can't start discussing it from the point of view of arguing about the seal hunt. You need to start at a higher level of principle, as [in] what is required to ensure sustainability for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador."

May said the Green party needs to focus on other issues, such as banning draggers and helping to restore cod stocks.

May, who did not outline what exactly she would like the party to adopt, will still need to bring a new policy to the party for debate.

Contact info. for Green Party of Canada:
Information: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
[EMAIL PROTECTED] (John Chenery, Director of Communications)
Toll-free: 1-866-868-3447 (1-866-VOTE-4-GPC)
Telephone: (613) 562-4916 (Ottawa)
Fax: (613) 482-4632 (Ottawa)
PO Box 997, Station B, Ottawa ON K1P 5R1
 

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