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NEWS: 100 MEPs say, ‘No CETA if Harper challenges seal hunt ban at WTO’

The Corner Brook, Newfoundland Western Star reports, “Over 100 MEPs have signed a statement (that calls) on Canada to withdraw its challenge of the European Union’s ban on Canadian seal products at the World Trade Organization, prior to any movement forward on the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.”

“The statement (developed by the Humane Society International) says the members agree ‘the Canadian government challenge at the WTO in regards to the EU regulation on seal product trade is an attack on both European and Canadian values and European democratic processes’. It states the members assert the EU parliament ‘should not support the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement until Canada withdraws its WTO challenge against the EU Regulation on trade in seal products’.”

In May 2009, the 736-seat European Parliament voted by a 550-49 margin to impose a ban on the import of Canadian seal products.

In July 2010, an Environics poll found that, “70 percent of Canadians agree that the commercial seal hunt damages Canada’s international reputation; 57 percent of Canadians feel that the EU ban on seal products is a step in the right direction; and 57 percent of Canadians say that the Canadian government’s (intention) to challenge the EU ban on seal products is a step in the wrong direction.”

In February 2011, Postmedia News reported, “Canada has launched a challenge at the World Trade Organization against the European Union ban on Canadian seal products, despite the views of some that it could threaten a multibillion-dollar trade deal with Europe.”