This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada, which closed in 2021.

Bill Maher: Bob Rae Can't Defend Seal Hunt 'Ethically Or Financially'


HBO host Bill Maher is again chastising Bob Rae for defending Canada's seal hunt.

The comedian wrote to the interim Liberal leader for a second time on Friday after Rae said Maher and other celebrities should find more worthy causes to fight for.

"It's a shame that since you can't defend the commercial seal slaughter ethically or financially, you instead attack the philanthropy of celebrities involved in many different causes, seals among them," Maher wrote.

"The fact that seals have been killed for hundreds of years is no excuse for continuing to kill them. For thousands of years, people held slaves and treated women and children like property, but tradition is not a justification for cruelty. It's disappointing that Canadian politicians continue to bail out this dying industry even though there are no markets for seal fur now."

Maher goes on to suggest that a government buyout of the industry would be the best solution for seals and sealers.


Rae responded soon after, defending the industry as an important and sustainable part of Canada's "cultural heritage" and attacking celebrities for focusing on the seal hunt while ignoring other forms of hunting.

According to PETA, a large group of celebrities support Harb's bill. They include: Ellen DeGeneres, Pink, Pamela Anderson, Olivia Munn, Tommy Lee, Dave Navarro, Alicia Silverstone and Megan Park.

The Newfoundland and Labrador government says 70,000 harp seals were killed during this year's commercial seal hunt — nearly twice the number killed last year.

But the expansion of the hunt, as Maher suggests, comes as markets for the pelts are drying up.

The European Union banned seal imports in 2010, and the federal government has so far failed to deliver on a promise to open the Chinese market to Canadian seal meat.

With files from The Canadian Press

Also on HuffPost

Canadian Seal Hunt

Suggest a correction
This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada. Certain site features have been disabled. If you have questions or concerns, please check our FAQ or contact