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Police charged a 37-year-old woman with assault after she hit Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea in the face with a pie Monday at an event in Burlington, Ont.

Shea was delivering a speech at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters to open the Aquatic Life Research Facility when Emily McCoy of New York City stood up in the front row and planted the white cream pie squarely in Shea's face.

"Shame on you, Gail Shea," McKoy said before making a reference to the "bloody seal hunt."

The animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said McKoy was a PETA member and she carried out the incident to protest against what the group calls "the government's ill-advised sanction of the seal slaughter."

PETA also posted a video of the incident with commentary on its website.

Campaign manager Lindsay Rajt told Canwest News Service the group did not organize the incident, but The Canadian Press was reporting the group claimed responsibility.

The pie aimed at Shea was apparently made of tofu, though the fisheries minister told the Hamilton Spectator that it "tasted like shaving cream."

Shea did not require medical attention and returned to the podium after wiping the pie from her face.

"We're certainly sorry for that delay, but unfortunately these types of incidents come with the type of business that I'm in," she said.

"But back to the business at hand," she said.

Pie throwing was a more popular form of political protest in Canada a decade ago, with former prime minister Jean Chr├ętien and then cabinet minister St├ęphane Dion both getting hit in separate incidents.