Announcing: the Western Canada Anti-Sealing Coalition
- Anthony Marr <anthony_marr@...> wrote: Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2007 23:50:24 -0700 (PDT)
From: Anthony Marr <anthony_marr@...>
Subject: Announcing: the Western Canada Anti-Sealing Coalition
To: Anthony Marr <anthony_marr@...>
The Western Canada Anti-Sealing Coalition (WCASC)
Founded March 31, 2007
Where the Canadian commercial seal hunt is concerned, Canada can be divided into three main zones: (from east to west) Eastern Canada (Newfoundland, Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and the Inuits), Central Canada (Ontario and Quebec) and Western Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia). It would not be far wrong to say that 80% of Newfoundland voters are pro-sealing, 60% of Ontario voters are anti-sealing, and 80% of British Columbians are anti-sealing.
However, while there is a well established power block in Eastern Canada (centred upon the sealers themselves), and a well established power block in Central Canada (in the form of the national AR/AW groups, which nonetheless seldom speak for the West), but no established integrated power block in Western Canada. Anti-sealing Western Canada needs such a power block to counter-balance the Eastern Canada power block in political influence. Thus, the Western Canada Anti-Sealing Coalition.
Imagine all the MPs from BC, AB, SK and MB, regardless of party, speaking out against the seal hunt in parliament. Wouldn't that be a coup and a half!?
It can happen, and the Western Canada Anti-Sealing Coalition, with all its member groups working in unison, can make it happen. Of course "all" is a tall order, but even just 30% would be momentous and monumental, perhaps even unprecedented and historical - the last referring to the hastening of the seal-hunt ban.
If truly three quarters of the voters in the West are against the Eastern seal hunt, it should not be too difficult to demonstrate to the Western MPs that at least the majority of his/her constituents are against the hunt, and that it is their express wish that their elected MPs vigorously represent their view in Parliament. The MPs would pretty well have to speak out against the hunt, regardless of their own personal leanings.
One of the ways to accomplish this is by petitioning, both in paper form (constituency-specific) and electronic form (Western-Canada-wide - to be sorted by city). I would say that the signatures of 10% of the voters in a constituency would be sufficient initially. Whether or not, give it more work and time.
A simultaneous phone/letter campaign to the MPs' offices will prove immensely powerful.
It will probably take the better of a year to reach this goal for most constituencies, but there is no better time to launch this petition drive than now, when the hunt is about to start..
1. Launch the Western Canada petition/phone/letter drive at once. Petition forms will be created in short order and distributed to the AR and AW groups throughout the four western provinces.
2. Build and launch a website for the Coalition and its campaigns.
3. Build the Coalition.
4. Start thinking about new campaigns.
By design, the Western Canada Anti-Sealing Coalition will not involve any government in any way. It will not be registered with any governmental agency. And it will not be subject to any governmental control and restrictions (except the law). In this way, it will be like Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE - www.HOPE-CARE.org), which is just a name, a website, and a whole lot of action at minimal cost. Like HOPE, the Western Canada Anti-Sealing Coalition will have no paid personnel (in the foreseeable future), and it will have no static financial base. It does have an informal Board of Directors.
Currently, five long-time and dedicated anti-sealing activists have agreed to take on these positions: (in alphabetical order of first names) Anthony Marr (Founder of the WCASC, www.HOPE-CARE.org, Vancouver, BC), Barbara Sicotte (Co-Founder of Sea Shepherd Calgary Group, Calgary, AB), Bruce Foerster (anti-whaling/anti-sealing activist, and Anthony Marr's co-campaigner in Japan - see "Anti-Whaling" section of www.HOPE-CARE.org - Victoria, BC), Erika Caballos (Founder of CATCA, New Westminster, BC) and Sinikka Crosland (President of TRACS, Kelowna, BC).
Membership-wise, the Western Canada Anti-Sealing Coalition will be an umbrella organization whose members will be some of the extant anti-sealing AR and AW grassroots groups in BC, AB, SK and MB. There is no membership fee at this point; participation will do. When the Coalition launches a campaign, the funds needed for the campaign will then be sought outside of the Coalition on a case by case basis. Individual memberships will also be accepted.
Any group or individual interested in being part of the Western Canada Anti-Sealing Coalition please contact:
Anthony Marr, Founder
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
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