Make India Asbestos Free

Make India Asbestos Free
For Asbestos Free India

Journal of Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) that works for Asbestos Free India inspired by trade union leader Purnendu Majumadar. Occupational Health India and ToxicsWatch Alliance are its members that includes doctors, researchers and activists. BANI demands criminal liability for companies and medico-legal remedy for victims. It works with trade unions, human rights, environmental, consumer and public health groups. For Details: 1715krishna@gmail.com

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Coalition Avenir Quebec Says It Will Stop Export Of Cancer-Causing Asbestos To India

Asian Journal, August 17, 2012 http://www.asianjournal.ca/aug%2017_12/roar_1.html

Harper says oilsands pipeline decision will be based on science – but what about asbestos?

NO decent Quebecer should vote for the Liberal Party in the September 4 provincial election because Premier Jean Charest has disgraced himself by providing a loan of $58 million to reopen the province’s asbestos mine.

And like the typical OPPORTUNISTIC politician, Charest did that ONLY for votes as he knew he was soon going to call an election. It didn’t matter how IMMORAL that policy was. As the Globe and Mail newspaper pointed out: “While most Quebeckers oppose asbestos mining, the plan [to relaunch the asbestos mine] will have plenty of backers around the mine location in the Eastern Townships, where seats can swing.”

That cancer-causing asbestos has killed countless poor Indians in India already and now South Asian businessman BALJIT CHADHA (Montreal Gazette reported that Chadha and Jeffrey Mine President Bernard Coulombe are now co-owners of a new company called

Mineral Fibre Inc. which owns the Jeffrey Mine) is ready to do his demonic part to KILL more Indians.

And then we South Asians have the nerve to accuse white guys of racism for every little thing!

But thank God there are decent WHITE politicians out there who want to end this MASS MURDER of poor Indians.

Charest’s Liberal Party is facing a tough fight as the latest polls indicate. On Wednesday, the Globe and Mail reported that the ThreeHundredEight.com’s vote and seat projection model shows that the Parti Quebecois (PQ) still held the lead with a projected 34.5 per cent support (58 seats likely), while the Liberals had 32.7 per cent support (47 seats likely). The Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) would likely get 18 seats with their 22.7-per-cent support.

PQ Leader Pauline Marois said her party was “very shocked” that Charest announced the loan without a debate and added that the PQ would hold a “societal debate” in Quebec’s legislature about what to do with the asbestos industry.

Hopefully, the PQ members, if their party wins, will have the good moral sense and decency to ban this deadly product.

CAQ Leader Francois Legault has shown more decisiveness and character than Marois on this issue. He told reporters that there was no need for a debate and that if his party were elected, they would phase out asbestos exports altogether.

He said that asbestos “does not conform to the values of Quebecers” and that they “have to turn the page.” He also told the media later: “We can’t let people die to save a job. There are limits.”

BY the way, I was wrong in stating in past write-ups that Canada has banned asbestos. Kathleen Ruff, senior human-rights adviser with the Ottawa-based Rideau Institute, told me that it has not been banned, but “it is strictly regulated, so that it would be prohibitively costly to use, if one used it. But people don’t use it, because they know it is deadly. So there is a virtual ban on asbestos in Canada. Most Canadians think it is banned.”

THIS brings me to the HYPOCRISY of Prime Minister Stephen Harper who is all for exporting asbestos to India where it is causing innumerable deaths and immense suffering to poor Indians.

All the world’s most respectable and leading health experts, publications and organizations, including the WHO, have openly condemned Canada for exporting asbestos. For example, Ivan Ivanov, the team leader of occupational health at the WHO Department of Public Health and Environment, says “there is no safe threshold of exposure to all forms of asbestos” and that WHO wants a stop to the use of all types of asbestos as the most efficient way to get rid of all asbestos-related diseases.

Yet this same Harper has the cheek to declare that the oilsands pipeline decision will be based purely on science!

What about asbestos, Harper?

Last January, when asbestos-removal contractor Arthur Moore of AM Environmental was sentenced to 60 days in the slammer by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Richard Goepel for putting the lives of his workers – some as young as 14 years of age – in danger by not providing them proper safety training and equipment, I pointed out that Workers’ Compensation Board lawyer Scott Nielsen told the judge a month earlier: “ASBESTOS KILLS. It was the LEADING KILLER of workers in B.C. in 2009, responsible for 44 PER CENT OF ALL DEATHS arising from employment.” [Capitalizations mine for emphasis.]

And Simon Fraser University health scientist Tim Takaro noted: “As a physician caring for asbestos patients, prevention of exposure is the key to reversing the current tide of death and disease.”

He added: “Meaningful sentences for employers who knowingly put workers at risk are a key tool in preventing these diseases.”

And then he bluntly pointed out: “The same can be said for the governments of Canada and Quebec WHO PROMOTE THE DEADLY PRODUCT IN INDIA and other rapidly developing countries.” [Capitalization mine for emphasis.]

So shouldn’t we send IMMORAL POLITICIANS who kill people with asbestos to jail?

I think the United Nations should intervene!

AND on Wednesday, what I had been warning readers about came true!

In my column two weeks ago, in the piece titled “With Yet Another Enbridge Oil Spill, It’s Best Not To Allow Northern Gateway Pipeline In B.C.” I wrote: “And please do NOT believe any of the propaganda that the oil company is soon going to unleash to try and fool British Columbians.”

Sure enough, Enbridge Inc. acted as the ALMIGHTY GOD by making 1,000 square kilometres of islands disappear from Douglas Channel in its animated depiction of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker route, amking it appear to be a safe, open waterway!
Wow! Mighty convenient, eh!

Lori Waters, a Vancouver Island researcher, exposed this deception on Facebook. The company came up with the feeble excuse that the animation contains a disclaimer that says it’s “broadly representational.”

What a joke!

And a very bad one, indeed!

The company said that another video showing the channel in detail along with technical reports of the marine route were on their website.

But does everyone have the time to do their own research on the website?

Let’s get real!

- RATTAN MALL
EditorAsianJournal@gmail.com

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