Dear Sealing Protester,
With the closure of the cod fishery, I and many more people were placed completely out of work. In a one-industry town, with all other businesses surviving off each other, this caused complete devastation to many Newfoundland towns and thousands of people.
Speaking for myself, I wasn’t about to sit around and do nothing. So I started an automotive detailing business and that kept my family going for 3 years. The problem was the sale of automobiles started to decline because of the effect of the cod fishery closure, and again I was faced with no way ofsupporting my family.
With no choices left to support my family, I had to leave them behind and head to the Mainland. With a crying wife and kids this was not an easy thing to do. When I arrived on the Mainland and went to work I quickly realized how much I missed my way of life. I was completely lost with all hope gone of being able to raise my family in my Newfoundland home.
In my darkest hour I received a phone call from my wife telling me that there was a new business starting in my home town – the business was a seal tannery. With this news, and renewed hope, I headed for home. I went to the place of that business every day and told the owners that I would be sitting in their lunchroom if they needed another worker. After some days had passed I got my chance. I worked my butt off to prove myself as a worker and show that I had great interest.
To make a long story short, I am still employed there today. I work 52 weeks a year and I am currently the Production Manager there. I have about 50 other people working under me and we produce the best seal skin product in the world. There are many other people that work at this place also. This industry has allowed me to raise my family in a home that I built with my own two hands; to keep them fed and clothed and to help provide them a secondary education.
For the first time in 15 years we have new businesses starting to open up after losing 43 during the cod closure. These businesses are opening, and reopening, solely because of the sealing industry.
With the sealing industry giving myself and others a new shot at life and a renewed hope for the future, I ask that you take the time to understand this industry. I ask that you not be quick to judge. I ask that you make an informed decision.
I thank you for taking the time to listen.