Does Calgary city council have it out for these cute little seal pups?
Almost every big city government in Canada is experiencing a budget crunch. None more so than Calgary which is in the midst of a full-scale budget cutting exercise. Mayor Dave Bronconnier is even asking his employees to come up with their own ideas on how they can trim costs at city hall, while trying to maintain services.
As a result, the folks over at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) thought they had a novel idea to help raise money for City Hall. They offered an undisclosed amount of money if the Mayor agreed to hang one of their anti-seal hunt banners on civic property. Currently, only municipal related events are permitted to be advertised on city-owned property.
Ashley Byrne is a representative with PETA and here is what she told the Calgary Sun:
People all over Canada who are opposed to the seal slaughter are having their concerns ignored by the Canadian government. At this time, when the eyes of the world is on Canada as a whole, the Canadian government should be setting a good example.
You can expect a lot more of this type of activism as the 2010 Olympic and Paralypmic Games get underway in Vancouver. Just about every activist group in the world is going to find the allure of 10,000 journalists in one location to appealing to pass up.
There is no word yet on whether PETA have asked Vancouver Council (who are apparently facing a budget crunch of their own) to hang a banner on the side of City Hall during 2010. We're also not sure if they're all that supportive of Council's draft guidelines regarding the caging of chickens in order that humans can harvest their eggs.
City officials in Calgary maintain that the group should look elsewhere to hang their banner as there are numerous other locations throughout the city they can rent.
Needless to say, without forking over a dime, PETA's PR strategy has resulted in more attention than they would have received if the banner would have actually been hung. As for the Mayor and Council, they are still looking for cash to help balance their books.
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