The Canadian Asbestos Question!
Canada is the only western country that still exports Quebec mined asbestos to developing countries despite the fact that all health experts in Canada and around the world agree that asbestos kills. So what stand have our parliamentary candidates and leaders taken on the subject?
The Conservative Party:
Since they are in power, Mr. Harper and his party have - with taxpayer’s money - supported the asbestos industry. At a campaign stop in the Quebec riding where the asbestos mine is located Mr. Harper assured voters there that he and Jean Charest will revive Canada’s last remaining asbestos mine with a 58 million dollar investment of taxpayers moneys.
The Liberal Party:
Mr. Ignatieff has publicly stated that he does not support the Canadian export of asbestos to developing countries. He has studiously avoided the asbestos riding in Quebec, but... the liberal candidate for the riding, Rene Roy, solidly supports the asbestos industry.
The New Democratic Party:
Mr. Layton and his party have worked steadily in Parliament to stop the export of asbestos to unprotected developing countries, which is the number one occupational killer even here in Canada. Until now he has not been questioned on his anti-asbestos stand in Quebec.
Mr. Duceppe has come to realize how dangerous asbestos is during the last year in Parliament, but at a campaign stop in April he was unable to stick to his conviction and avoided further discussions by suggesting that a parliamentary commission was needed to have the final say on this matter. Despite all the scientific evidence, the taxpayers now might be asked to pay for this commission despite the fact that we already have paid millions to remove chrysotile asbestos from Ottawa’s parliament building.
For recent Canadian press coverage for this issue please visit the Canadian Coverage page.