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Shoving a tofu cream pie in Gail Shea’s face gets Emily McCoy convicted for assault and banned from Canada

Fisheries Minister Gail Shea, the MP for the P.E.I. riding of Egmont, reacts after getting a pie in the face in Burlington, Ont.

An American woman is banned from entering Canada for two years for planting a pie in the face of the federal fisheries minister to protest the seal hunt.

A judge in Milton, Ont., today convicted Emily McCoy of assault for shoving a tofu cream pie in Gail Shea’s face at an event in Burlington, Ont., in January 2010.

Lawyer James Silver says the judge placed the New York City woman on probation for two years with some strict conditions.

Silver says McCoy is banned from returning to Canada or having any contact with Shea or the fisheries ministry during her probation.

Silver says the conditions also prohibit McCoy from contact with any Canadian institutions such as embassies or consulates.

McCoy told the court prior to sentencing that she hadn’t properly considered the consequences of her actions.

“I never considered the extent of the consequences of my actions in protesting the violent seal slaughter,” McCoy said in her statement.

“I assaulted an elected government official,” she said.

The Crown agreed to the probationary sentence, but Silver said prosecutors made it clear they would have sought jail time except for extenuating circumstances in McCoy’s case.

“When she was motivated to go in and try and bring attention to this cause that she believes in so deeply, her motivations were well intentioned,” Silver said.

“The means of implementing those motivations were not only inappropriate, but illegal,” he said.

The court also considered that McCoy doesn’t fit the usual criminal demographics, Silver said.

What brought her before the court was a “misguided attempt” to bring attention to the seal hunt, he said.

“She recognizes now that this is over the line,” Silver added.

Silver said while the sentence may appear to be a slap in the wrist, it does have far-reaching implications for his client.

Apart from the criminal record, he said it also bars McCoy from continuing her protest of the seal hunt, even in a peaceful way because of the ban on communication with Canadian officials.



Geographic location: Canada, Milton, Burlington New York City

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Recent comments

  • Denise Perrin
    March 19, 2011 - 21:48

    Mike, speaking of costs: Canada taxpayers are paying $10million to fight the EU ban at the WTO, when the seal slaughter will only bring in $1million. 2009/2010 taxpayers paid Coast Guard $4.3million to break the ice and rescue fishermen killing seals. The government is also risking a $12million trade deal with EU because as a recent parliament report said, "the seal slaughter issue may negatively impact ratification of the agreement by the European Parliament and by the parliaments of the EU member states." It would be ridiculous to throw that deal away for a losing "industry" that is subsidized by the people.

  • joseph kenneth malone
    March 19, 2011 - 08:21

    We must support the seal hunt and show the world that Canada won't be pushed around.

  • john bernard
    March 18, 2011 - 18:31

    I feel sorry for Mrs Shea, but what about the fact that the seal population is out of control and destroying the fish stocks. This has been proven time and time again. You so called enviromentists like to complain but you do nothing to help in a productive manner and thats a fact.

    March 18, 2011 - 15:06

    While throwing a pie,or anything at an official is dispicable,the good side of it is, it brings attention to the plight of the poor animals who are slaughtered in a most cruel way.Perhaps something good will come of this,like stop clubbing little defensless snimals for money.

    • Townie
      March 18, 2011 - 15:48

      Give your head a shake, committing a crime is no way to bring attention to anything. Your just as woolheaded as these activists! All they are doing is ruining their credibility as an organization by pulling stunts like this. If they worked inside the law to protest it would give their plight a lot more weight.

  • Charles Foster
    Charles Foster
    March 18, 2011 - 13:28

    .I am sure this picture causes Ms. Shea some pain every time its shown. Rather than adding to the victim's pain how about showing a picture of the perpetrator instead?

  • Mike
    March 18, 2011 - 07:56

    Another act by a tree hugging, granola crunching tree bark eating waste of space. Think of the tax payers money that is wasted on these "waste of space" people that pretend they are concerned about the earth and animals. Wheather its security costs or court costs, they are wasting time and money. Im a member of PETA. People Eating Tasty Animals!! All you Left wingers, do me a favor and put on your hats and keep walking until your hat starts to float!

    • ..........
      March 18, 2011 - 11:43

      Are you people crazy.. She was there standing up for what she believes in. Yes, perhaps throwing a pie wasn't the best thing to do but how dare you judge people like the PETA because they're trying to help the earth and animals who cant stand up for themselves. You have no clue what the PETA does for the world so don't criticize others for their views

    • Bubba
      May 22, 2011 - 11:40

      Good post! I agree

  • Michael
    March 17, 2011 - 21:40

    actually the pie incident has inspired me to throw seal meat pies at the peta folks when I see them fundraising in Ottawa this summer. Can't promise theywill be cooled

  • Quinten the exiled
    March 17, 2011 - 18:56

    No I'm not, I'm the best at everything and thats just the way it is. I have lots to offer. Do what I say or I'll act like a little baby and throw a temper tantrum.

  • bruce martin
    March 17, 2011 - 18:53

    looks like the courts are more than soft in ontario just like pei.other countrys must laugh at our judicial system.god knows what could have been in that pie.they should have had a female bodyguard to ragdoll her when she did the act.

    March 17, 2011 - 18:13

    You can commit any crime you can think of, Steal peoples savings.Defraud the Government, BUT do not throw a pie. That is a no no

  • Quinten The Exiled
    March 17, 2011 - 16:46

    Too bad you couldn't exile annoying people like you could in the olden days. Just ship them off to a deserted Island out in Tsunami country.

  • Quinten The Exiled
    March 17, 2011 - 16:38

    I wish we could exile people that are crooks, or just become the most annoying people ever to walk the streets of PEI. Send them to a deserted Island out in Tsunami country.

    • lol
      March 17, 2011 - 18:31

      what a joke not allowed in canada cause you threw a pie but they let sexual offenders here so stupid!!!!!

    • ignorant
      March 17, 2011 - 18:33

      your ignorant quiten the exiled