Our Prime Minister designate Justin Trudeau was a good dad this weekend – he and his family went trick or treating in their Ottawa neighbourhood. He and his wife, Sophie Gregoire, dressed up as a power couple from the past: Han Solo and Princess Leia. And in their passion, they kept their costumes realistic from a scene in The Empire Strikes Back. That, of course, has led to the problem.
Mr. Trudeau wore a Canada Goose parka – complete with coyote fur trim around the hood. Most of our supporters know why this is an upsetting fact, but for those who don’t, or those who are new to the issue of fur, we’ll offer a quick explanation.
The popular outwear company, which is now owned by American hedge fund group Bain Capital, has used real coyote fur for years, claiming it is superior than alternatives and necessary because of the arctic conditions the parkas are designed for. Of course, the most common place to see Canada Goose parkas are on the streets of Vancouver and Toronto.
Canada Goose does not kill coyotes themselves; they buy fur from auction houses, where trappers place their pelts after the season. But the demand the company has for the furs creates or sustains a value on coyote fur, meaning more coyotes are killed than would be otherwise.
And regardless of the most recent spin offered by the trappers, the fur industry, or Canada Goose itself, there is no humane way to trap. Coyotes are caught in leg-hold traps (padded or spaced), Conibear body-gripping traps, or snares. They can be left for days in these devices, desperately struggling to get away. The injuries they endure are not often from the traps – they want so much to be free, they cause significant injury to themselves.
Does Mr. Trudeau know all of this about the coat he’s worn in family photos and now, as part of a Halloween costume? We can’t be sure, which is why we’re sending him a letter this week – and encourage you to do the same.
But we do know that he is unlikely to make a sudden turn against the fur industry. Politicians often wrongly perceive trappers, a small group of 70,000 (out of 35,000,000 Canadians), to represent all rural or hunting/fishing voters. We can, however, educate all of our friends, neighbours, co-workers and family members about the realities of fur and Canada Goose.
Work like our growing #MakeFurHistory campaign is only possible with the support of monthly donors. Please consider become a monthly donor – for as little as $5 a month – and help us create a Canada where we can proudly say we were part of the change to #MakeFurHistory.