Make India Asbestos Free

Make India Asbestos Free
For Asbestos Free India

Journal of Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI). Asbestos Free India campaign of BANI is inspired by trade union movement and right to health campaign. BANI has been working since 2000. It works with peoples movements, doctors, researchers and activists besides trade unions, human rights, environmental, consumer and public health groups. BANI demands criminal liability for companies and medico-legal remedy for victims.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Canadian Opposition Leader seeks end of asbestos trade

Michael Ignatieff is the Leader of the Official Opposition in Canada's minority Parliament. He is leader of the Liberal Party (the Party which is the usual governing Party of Canada, which has always been an aggressive supporter of the Quebec asbestos industry and whose former leader, Prime Minister Jean Chr├ętien, phoned the President of Chile to put pressure on him to stop Chile from banning asbestos and who took the case to the WTO, arguing that a ban on chrysotile asbestos would violate WTO trade rules. To date, they have resisted all pressure to change their position on asbestos by refusing to answer any questions on asbestos.

Michael Ignatieff addressed an overflow town-hall meeting in British Columbia on March 28, 2009. The Raging Grannies sang the attached song outside the meeting and handed out your letter of appeal to Canadians from the people in India.

One Christine Andersonn was able to ask the last question to Ignatieff and got a leader of the Liberal Party to call for an end of Canada's asbestos export. The asbestos lobby will be putting immense pressure on Ignatieff to recant.

At a Liberal town hall meeting, six grannies made their presence known beforehand with our banner stating: "Asbestos Kills. End All Exportation Now". They sang two asbestos songs loudly and repetitively and handed out fifty copies of the Indian appeal to Canadians.

Christine Anderson asked, "You spoke eloquently a few minutes ago, Mr. Ignatieff, of our responsibilities as citizens of the world. My question is about asbestos. Although millions of taxpayers' dollars are being spent removing asbestos from the parliament buildings, millions more have been spent over 25 years funding the Chrysotile Institute of Canada to export chrysotile asbestos to developing countries. Do you, Sir, support an end to Canada's exporting asbestos, as is demanded by the World Health Organization and the Canadian Cancer Society, and many other organizations?"

He replied: "I may be stepping off a cliff with this one but if asbestos is so bad that we are removing it from parliament, it must be bad for other countries. This has to end. Thank you for your question."

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