Copyright

(c) 2022 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Ugly Canadians

Today, Canada blocked the United Nations from banning asbestos. Reuters reported, "Chrysotile asbestos will not be listed as a hazardous industrial chemical that can be banned from import after countries including Canada and Ukraine blocked consensus."

An editorial in the Toronto Star called the action by Canada as hypocritical: 

"The hypocrisy is staggering. The federal government has spent millions to clear its own buildings of this noxious material — including taking it out of 24 Sussex Drive to protect the Prime Minister and his family. Canadian companies, schools and homeowners have also removed asbestos from their structures. Yet we happily export it.The asbestos industry in Quebec has been dying for years and employs only about 300 people. There’s no future in these operations. The miners should be given help to find new jobs or a decent pension and the mines left to wither away. This toxic trade needs to end."

"Asbestos kills. The World Health Organization calls it “one of the most serious occupational carcinogens” and notes that it’s a factor in 90,000 deaths each year. But we keep selling more than $100 million of it each year to countries such as India and Indonesia, where it is used in the manufacture of cement and auto parts. We even market it with a Canadian flag logo, leaving the impression it is stamped with government approval."

***

"The asbestos industry in Quebec has been dying for years and employs only about 300 people. There’s no future in these operations. The miners should be given help to find new jobs or a decent pension and the mines left to wither away. This toxic trade needs to end."

As the Canadian Globe and Mail posted today, "We are the Ugly Canadians."