Make India Asbestos Free

Make India Asbestos Free
For Asbestos Free India

Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) works for Asbestos Free India since 2002. Occupational Health India and ToxicsWatch Alliance are its members that includes occupational health doctors, researchers and activists. BANI demands criminal liability for companies and medico-legal remedy for victims. It works with trade unions, human rights, environmental and public health groups. For Details:krishna1715@gmail.com, oshindia@yahoo.in, toxicswatchallaince@gmail.com

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It takes a Quebec separatist to close an asbestos mine

National Post, Kelly McParland, Sep 17, 2012
It hurts, but it has to be said: Pauline Marois hasn’t even been sworn in as premier yet and she’s already shown more leadership and judgement on Quebec’s asbestos industry than any of her predecessors, or anyone in Ottawa.

Marois pledged during the provincial election campaign to revoke a $58 million loan offered by Premier Jean Charest to Canada’s last asbestos mine. She knew hat cancelling the money would mean the death of the industry, but went ahead anyway. And kudos to her. Asbestos has been banned or heavily restricted in much of the world. Canadians wouldn’t go near a home built with asbestos. The health risks are real and widely known. For Canada to keep producing the stuff and selling it to less cautious industries in developing countries was unconscionable. That it was propped up by politicians for the sake of a few thousand votes in one Quebec community was obnoxious, to put it mildly.

“Shock waves circled the globe in minutes as news that 130 years of Canadian asbestos mining and lucrative asbestos export business to Asia, the USA, and other countries would end,” reported the Urban Times. I suspect that’s not quite true. It takes quite a bit to send shock waves around the world, and one lousy mine closing in Quebec isn’t at that level.

But the federal Tories aren’t ready to admit they were wrong in sticking by the mine. Industry Minister Christian Paradis, who was born in Thetford Mines, was right there promising to spend $50 million in the region to help diversify its economy.

“In the meantime hundreds of workers in our region are without jobs, are living in uncertainty and hoping the mine will reopen,” he moaned.

His concern would be more impressive if, like the PQ, he’d taken a more principled stand and helped shut the mine years ago.

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/09/17/it-takes-a-quebec-separatist-to-close-an-asbestos-mine/

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