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.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Quebec Premier Charest Accused Of Lying About Asbestos

Premier Charest Accused Of Lying About Asbestos

Adverse coverage of Radio-Canada (CBC) TV and radio on the letter to Quebec's Premier Jean Charest challenging him for his blatant misrepresentation of the position of the WHO regarding asbestos.

When challenged in India about the illnesses being suffered by Indian workers who had been handling Quebec's asbestos, Charest stated that many WHO reports back up his position that chrysotile asbestos (which represents 100% of the asbestos trade) can be safely handled under controlled conditions.

Sources from Canada inform that they then interviewed scientists who stated that this is false, that there is not a single WHO report supporting Charest's "safe use" policy and that, in fact, the WHO recommends ending use of asbestos.

The Quebec Minister of Health was then interviewed and expressed his support for the "safe use" position. They then interviewed the Minister of Health's own health experts who disagreed and said that Quebec has had difficulties to achieve "safe use" and that "safe use" is likely impossible, particularly for workers in the construction industry.

Here are the links to the Radio-Canada coverage:

a TV:
b) Radio :

c) Article on website:

2) There is a strong opinion piece by Alain Dubuc, an influential columnist at La Presse. It challenges Premier Charest for his hypocrisy over asbestos and says this can do serious damage to Quebec's reputation.
"Quand c'est notre cochonnerie" (When it's our ugly doings), La Presse, le 12 février 2010,

3) There is also an extraordinarily powerful letter in Le Soleil, which is accompanied by a large photo and heading, giving the letter great prominence. You might want to take a look. The letter is titled "Tribal Reflex". It says that the three major political parties in Quebec have endorsed export of asbestos to poor countries, without caring about the health of the population there. This contradicts any claim by these parties that our society is the most just, the most generous and the best environmentally. They are making an ugly face at their country, which disapproves of this practice. This shows a smallness of spirit, a tribal reflex.

"Réflexe tribal", le 11 février 2010

3) There was even coverage of the letter to Charest in an Arab Emirates publication.

1 comment:

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