Green Party leader resigns as Sea Shepherd advisor
Elizabeth May has resigned from the advisory board of the Sea Shepherd society, after Paul Watson's crude and brainless remarks involving the seal hunt, and, in particular, the recent deaths of four sealers.
Watson's comments were the subject of intense discussion on the Fisheries Broadcast yesterday evening, and I was so offended that I sent her the following email:
Is it correct that you are a member of the Board of Advisors of the Sea Shepherd Society?
If so, do you stand behind Paul Watson's latest remarks, that the slaughter of young seals is a "greater tragedy" than the recent loss of four men at the front? Do you agree that seal hunters are "cigarette smoking apes" and "sadistic baby killers"?
I'd like a comment from you on this, for my blog...
Apparently, the Broadcast - and whatever other coverage there was - had an impact.
"I can't be associated with those comments. They're just offensive and hurtful," Ms. May said in an interview with Stephen Maher.
However, she doesn't exactly sound regretful, and her apology will not likely increase support for the Green Party in this province, because May also said this:
"It doesn't mean overall the Sea Shepherd society has not done good work, but as the leader of a federal political party, I probably shouldn't be on an advisory committee... I was staying on (the committee) in hopes of meeting Pierce Brosnan. Say I'll withdraw from the advisory committee, and I'll e-mail Paul later."
Very funny, Elizabeth. I'm glad you can find humour in all this. I wonder if the people of Iles-de-la-Madeleine are laughing.
I did find some absurdity in Broadcast host John Furlong's revelation - it was that to me, anyway - that Paul Watson is not certified in any way as a sea captain, yet insists on wearing his little captain suit and hat, with yellow tassels, when on the vessel.
What a baby.
What a fraud.
Here's the full story from Stephen Maher, Ottawa Bureau Chief for the Halifax Chronicle Herald:
Green party boss leaves advisory committee over Watson's remarks
By STEPHEN MAHER Ottawa Bureau
Fri. Apr 4 - 5:56 AM
OTTAWA Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has decided to resign from the advisory board of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society after the group's leader, Paul Watson, said Wednesday that the killing of seals in the annual hunt "is an even greater tragedy" than the death of four sealers.
Ms. May, who has long been a member of the society's advisory board, decided during the course of a telephone interview Thursday that she should resign.
"It doesn't mean overall the Sea Shepherd society has not done good work, but as the leader of a federal political party, I probably shouldn't be on an advisory committee," she said from New York, where she was taking part in a panel discussion. "I was staying on (the committee) in hopes of meeting Pierce Brosnan. Say I'll withdraw from the advisory committee, and I'll e-mail Paul later."
Ms. May said she was horrified by the deaths of four sealers from the Iles-de-la-Madeleine last week, and even opponents of the seal hunt, such as Green party members, want sealers to be safe.
In a release Wednesday, Mr. Watson, a radical activist who has spent decades trying to disrupt the seal hunt and other marine mammal hunts around the world, described the people of the Iles-de-la-Madeleine as barbarians. Mr. Watson was once beaten up by some islanders.
He described the hunters as "baby killers . . . who are seeking sympathy because some of their own died."
"One of the sealers was quoted as saying that he felt absolutely helpless as he watched the boat sink with sealers on board," he said. "I can't think of anything that defines helplessness and fear more than a seal pup on the ice that can't swim or escape as it is approached by some cigarette-smoking ape with a club. . . . They are vicious killers."
Ms. May said she will still count Mr. Watson as a friend, but she can't support his comments.
"I can't be associated with those comments. They're just offensive and hurtful."
She said some members of her party may be upset that she is distancing herself from the group.
"I'm not renouncing Paul Watson but I'm not comfortable being on his advisory committee."
She said the organization does "good work for the most part."
Fabian Manning, a Newfoundland MP and the Conservative chairman of the Commons fisheries committee, said Ms. May should never have been on the board in the first place.
"I question anybody who would be involved with these people in the first place, to be honest with you, knowing how important the seal hunt is to the Maritimes and Canada as a whole. And certainly, the comments from Mr. Watson border on the crazy."