Fear and Loathing in Iqaluit
Commentary by Captain Paul Watson
Hey Finance Minister dudes, like, welcome to Canada, eh.
We have quite the venue for you all this year, hope you all have some really warm clothing because we’ve decided to teach all you bleeding heart Europeans a little lesson in Canadian culture.
Just a little payback for voting to ban imports of our baby seal pelts. You guys cost our wonderful sealing industry a whole two million dollars last year. But hey, it’s not the money, we’re Canadians eh and bashing in the brains of defenseless seal pups is a very important part of our national heritage.
Inhumane, you say! Nonsense, our Department of Fisheries and Oceans has assured us that the Canadian commercial seal hunt is the most well regulated, most humane slaughter of any animal in the world - so there!
Have I seen it? No, but I don’t have to the DFO has said it’s humane so it must be humane.
So here’s what you’re going to do: You’re going to leave your comfortable little homes in Paris, London, Berlin, Rome, and Washington D.C. to fly to Canada where we will put you on a long flight to Iqaluit in Nunavut. Oh, you’ve never heard of it. You have now!
Nice little place with about 6,000 people, most of whom don’t like Europeans much. Not sure if we have accommodations for everyone but if we run out of rooms, the locals can teach you how to build an igloo.
Oh, did we mention that the temperature is around -40 degrees Celsius this time of year? Not to worry- we have some really swell seal skin parkas and gloves for you to wear. What? You don’t want to wear sealskin? Well suit yourself, but we’re betting that after a few minutes shivering in the snow, you’ll be putting on those parkas for a good old photo opportunity to show the world how much you appreciate your sealskin coat.
Oh by the way, the good news is there won’t be any pesky protesters at this year’s meeting. Even the protesters have the good sense to stay out of these temperatures and conditions. Don’t let the sight of men with rifles and sharp knives worry you however. The residents around here carry rifles and wear knives all the time. Where do you think that coat we gave you came from? Oh did we mention they don’t like Europeans? Try not to say much, just smile for the cameras, and shake everyone’s hand, and if they offer you a hunk of raw seal meat to eat, our advice is you should probably eat it. These seal hunters don’t have much of a sense of humor. Hell, if you lived here all year round you would not be in the most cheerful mood either. And besides if our Governor General can eat a raw seal heart on national television, you can show the people back home that you can eat anything she can eat.
Oh sorry, you won’t be able to speak with your family or the media back home. We’re sorry, but cell phone reception up here is pretty much non-existent.
So here’s what we have planned: The meeting place will have seal skin covered chairs and we will be serving seal meat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We have gifts of sealskin products for you and a little seal jerky as a midday snack. We also have a planned outdoor excursion. You will each be able to take a dogsled trip out of town to shoot a seal yourself - talk about a super fun time eh?
What’s that? One of those seal lovers told you that the commercial seal hunt has nothing to do with the Inuit in the High North. They told you that 95% of the seals are killed by white Newfoundlanders and a few inbred rednecks in the Magdalen Islands.
Well that might be true, but here in Canada us seal killer’s stick together and white hunters have been exploiting our Inuit for so damn long, it has become a tradition. Hell, the average Inuit sealer would feel downright un-Canadian if he didn’t try to defend the baby seal bashers of Newfoundland.
I’m sure it will be a wonderful event this year. We may not get around to solving the world’s financial crisis, but you will all have the opportunity to bail out our two million dollar sealing industry, and in so doing you will be striking a blow for Canadian pride.
Oh, and you simply can’t leave without trying the seal penis tea. Available only in Canada you say? Oh what a pity!