A few weeks back after the European Union invoked a ban on the importation of seal products from Canada, French film legend Brigitte Bardot vowed to boycott Maple Syrup.
Ms Bardot has been a vocal opponent of Canada's seal hunt for more than 30 years. Now in the twilight of her career, It seems that dissing Canada is about the only thing the aged European sex-kitten has got remaining on her agenda. Canada produces about 85% of the world's maple syrup, and Bardot contends that a world boycott of the product would pressure Canadians to reconsider our position on the annual harvest of seals off the east coast. Bardot's ally in the cause against "Maple Syrup" is PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). It was on a PETA blog that she called for the world's pancake lovers to rise-up...comparing the idea to the 2003 American boycott of French wines over the Iraq War.
Brigitte Bardot who is about to turn 75 was last seen in Canada in March of 2006. She hitched her visit then on the heels of the much publicised high-profile jaunt through the Magdalen Islands and Prince Edward Island by Sir Paul McCartney and his then wife, Heather Mills to protest the seal hunt. At the time Bardot was given the cold shoulder on a whistle stop through Ottawa where both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Fisheries refused her requests to meet.
It probably isn't much of a knock-out punch to Bardot's latest crusade. It's even doubtful she's heard the news. This past weekend Parks Canada, the agency responsible for the country's national monuments and historic sites, unveiled a plaque in MacDonalds' Corners in eastern Ontario honouring the..."Production of Maple Syrup as an event of national historic significance." Sweet!....No pun intended.
As of this month, the E.U. ban on the importation of seal products is in effect in each of the Union's 27 member countries. The Government of Canada is now challenging the action before the World Trade Organization as an unfair trade restriction. If maple syrup is next on the hit-list producers in the $220-million industry will at least have a plaque to be remembered by.