30 March 2006

Who is surprised by Loyola and Jerry?

That's Loyola Hearn and Jerry Vlasak.

Vlasak (left), for his part, has repeatedly stated he believes it's just peachy to kill humans if animals are saved in the process. At the Bond Papers, we have discussed Vlasak, his wife - former child actor Pam Ferdin, and their associations with Paul Watson and the animal extremists. Check here, here and here, from last October's archive.

Vlasak told a 2003 animal rights convention:
"I don't think you'’d have to kill -- assassinate -- too many vivisectors," Vlasak said, "before you would see a marked decrease in the amount of vivisection going on. And I think for 5 lives, 10 lives, 15 human lives, we could save a million, 2 million, 10 million non-human lives." When one woman in the audience disagreed, saying that Vlasak's approach was no different from that of abortion-clinic bombers, Vlasak was undeterred. "Absolutely," he countered. "I think they had a great strategy going."
Vlasak's a known quantity.

Also known is (left//Photo: Greg Locke) Loyola Hearn, the federal fish minister, who is known at least if you pay attention to what Hearn says and does as opposed to what you may wish he was saying and doing.

CBC reports "Loyola Hearn said the hunt must be open to public scrutiny."

"He fears that if the federal government doesn't issue observer permits, it will look like seal hunters have something to hide."

Hearn knows full-well that there are grounds for keeping some animal extremists out of the country and for restricting their activities that are not about observing the hunt at all. Vlasak has been barred from some countries; Canada should be added to his personal No-Fly list.

But Hearn's position is hardly surprising for a guy who has toed the pre-existing policy line in Ottawa since taking office. Hearn has a couple of problems, not the least of which is a shortage of qualified staff. Some reports have the bulk of his people coming out of the bowels of his department because others don't want the job or can't pass the sniff test for getting hired.

Ryan Cleary, long Hearn's chief booster in the province, was reported here as having the job earlier. He later said publicly he wasn't offered a job and wouldn't take it if he was offered one. The details will never be known why Cleary isn't getting paid for supporting Hearn, but somehow, it's hard to imagine Cleary siding with the department officials he loathes on a matter like Vlasak and the seal hunt.

Political staff can serve a valuable purpose of giving a minister a perspective different from that of department officials. Hearn isn't getting it, apparently, although around here, we'd argue Hearn as minister is just being the kind of politician he has always been regardless of who is staffing his office.

Either way both Vlasak and Hearn are known quantities acting predictably.

Why are people surprised by their comments?