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.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Daily Show mocks Asbestos

Popular US news program did a stunning piece on Canada's asbestos exports last night.

Here is the link to watch the item that was shown on The Daily Show last night on Canada’s asbestos trade.

Daily Show: Aasif Mandvi Visits Asbestos, Quebec

Daily Show mocks Asbestos, Que.

CBC News

May 13, 2011

Daily Show comedian Aasif Mandvi asks the president of Jeffrey Mine whether the word 'asbestos' means something different in French.Daily Show comedian Aasif Mandvi asks the president of Jeffrey Mine whether the word 'asbestos' means something different in French. Comedy Network

Asbestos, Que. is taking another beating on the international stage, this time from American news satire program, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

A comedic segment produced by one of the show's reporters, Aasif Mandvi, aired Thursday night on the program. It poked fun at the town for promoting the mineral that has been linked to cancer and lung disease.

Mandvi's segment was filmed in Asbestos, and he interviewed both the president of Jeffrey Mine, Bernard Coulombe, and the town director, Georges Gagné.

Mandvi pokes fun at the fact the town is named after a mineral linked to cancer.

"Does 'asbestos' mean something different in French than it does in English?" he asks Coulombe in a sit-down interview.

"Because in English, it means slow, hacking death."

When Mandvi asks the president of the asbestos mine if chrysotile is safe, Coulombe relies, "Yes, it is. Relatively."

Mandvi also uses scenes from a CBC documentary, Canada's Ugly Secret, showing workers in India handling asbestos with only bandanas on their faces.

He chastises Coulombe for selling the mineral to India, where work safety regulations are not as strict as in Canada.

"That's my family over there!" Mandvi, who was born in India, says to Coulombe.

"I mean, what is the French word for douchebag? Anybody?" he asks the camera, in the final shot of the five-minute segment.

Jeffrey Mine is one of Canada's last-remaining asbestos mines.

The Quebec government approved the expansion of the mine in April and has guaranteed a $58-million loan for the cash-strapped mine under condition that the promoter drums up additional financing.

The move caused an outcry from health experts, labour groups and activists around the globe.

The mineral, also known as chrysotile, is a popular construction material, and many of Canada's exported asbestos goes to India.
Not the first time

Asbestos is no stranger to international criticism, from both serious news corporations and more light-hearted sources.

The town was spoofed on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's show The Gruen Transfer in June 2010.

The reality show asked two advertising executives to design video ads to attract tourists to the town cursed by a name that reminds people of cancer.

In July of the same year, the British Broadcasting Corporation aired a damning in-depth series on Canada's controversial asbestos industry and how the mineral is used in developing countries.
Related Links

Asbestos: Canada's Ugly Secret
Asbestos: Magic Mineral or Deadly Dust?

External Links

Watch The Daily Show Asbestos spoof here

* Jon Stewart's popular U.S. TV show mocks Quebec town of Asbestos

(The Canadian Press) – May 13, 2011

MONTREAL — The Quebec town of Asbestos was the object of ridicule on one of the world's most popular comedy programs Thursday night.

''The Daily Show with Jon Stewart'' produced a sometimes tongue-in-cheek report that was also indignant about the town's attachment to the asbestos industry.

It interviewed local officials who said chrysotile asbestos is perfectly safe if handled properly — and it also spoke with a Canadian Medical Association doctor who dismissed that suggestion.

The piece began with light mockery but took on a more serious tone toward the end.

It reminded people that asbestos is blamed for 100,000 deaths a year and that there's little evidence the product is handled safely in India, the prime market for Quebec asbestos.

At one point, the comedian-reporter on the story — Mumbai-born Aasif Mandvi — tells a local official he has family in India. He scolds the asbestos advocate and asks: "What's the French word for douchebag?"

Quebec holds the last of Canada's remaining asbestos mines and has recently announced a $58-million loan guarantee that will keep one of them open.

As the segment ended, Stewart chuckled as he cut to commercial.

It's wasn't the first time the town was fodder for foreign comedians. An Australian TV show once held a contest for advertising professionals to try making tourists want to visit the place.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for exposing that! We are ashamed that our corrupt government is giving loan guarantees to the mining company shipping the mineral to India for processing. Please let me know if the clip is still to be found as the link seems dead.

For more about the Quebec Liberal government corrupt links to this affair, read on or go to

"A $58 million loan guarantee was granted for the relaunch of Jeffrey asbestos Mine, in the town of Absestos. That is after this industry has made thousands of victims and caused many deaths in Québec only. Moreover, Balcorp president Baljit Chadha, main promoter of the mine relaunch, organized a fundraising event for QLP (see point 9) with Prime Minister Jean Charest in 2009. The cocktail party was held in Westmount, in the private residence of Balcorp president, and collected an estimated amount of $20 000."

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