There are few symbols more iconic to Canada than the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the muskrat fur hat that they wear, which shows pride and support for the trade and people who founded this great nation. The same could also be said for the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, who represent to the Newfoundland & Labrador public the presence of their government and who stand as representatives of Newfoundland & Labrador to international travelers and media.
As the muskrat and other fur trapping is a proud piece of Canadas heritage, so too is the seal industry an important part of Newfoundland & Labrador's heritage and culture, both of its indigenous people and its later European settlers. Not only does it represent the past but it also represents the future; The seal industry still plays a vital economic role to many areas of Newfoundland & Labrador both rural and urban with many relying on its presence to survive.
We recognize the investments made by the government into the seal industry in regards to marketing, campaigning and assisting private business in their continued activity in its markets. We now wish to ask that the Government of Newfoundland & Labrador and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary work together to bring together these two iconic symbols of our Province. A move that would support the industry by creating more demand in the local market, by proudly displaying its products and by showing our pride in our culture, heritage and our continued way of life.
We ask that the Government of Newfoundland & Labrador and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary work together to adopt the sealskin cap as the official winter headdress of the RNC in the same manner that the muskrat cap is the official winter headdress for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Some facts about the seal industry & seal products:
* Seals are a significant source of income for thousands of families in remote coastal communities in Eastern Canada, at a time of year when employment opportunities are extremely limited.
* Sealers have stated that their income from sealing can represent from 25-35% of their total income.
* The sealing industry is worth over $55 million on average to our provincial economy.
* Since 1970, the harp seal population has exploded exponentially and now stands at nearly 10 million animals.
* Harvesting white-coats and bluebacks is illegal and has been since 1987.
* Research on the modern sealing industry by veterinary experts has concluded that seals are harvested in a humane manner.
* Seals are a natural, sustainable and renewable resource.
* The meat from harvested seals is extremely healthy and consumed by locals.
* Seal products are biodegradable and are a natural alternative to destructive petroleum based synthetic materials.