Aglukkaq in Geneva to fight Europe's seal product ban

Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq speaks during Question Period on Parliament Hill in Ottawa...

Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq speaks during Question Period on Parliament Hill in Ottawa January 30, 2014. REUTERS/Blair Gable

Jessica Hume, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 6:34 PM ET

OTTAWA - Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq is in Geneva, Switzerland, to argue against Europe's ban on seal products.

Despite aggressive opposition from Canada and to a lesser degree Norway, the EU's ban on seal products was upheld late last year by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Canada announced its intention to appeal almost immediately and Aglukkaq leads a delegation to participate in three days of hearings before the WTO.

In its ruling, the WTO indicated that while the ban may have broken trade rules, it was justified because of "public moral concerns" with the seal hunt. The ruling didn't specify that public outrage had to be founded, something with which Aglukkaq takes issue.

"When you start making conservation decisions on moral issues, we've lost the battle on conservation," Aglukkaq told QMI Agency.

As a native Northerner, Aglukkaq calls the ban "emotional" and "discriminatory," despite an apparent lack of clarity on what the ban actually entails.


Photos