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, February 17, 2012

Widow urges Quebec to keep asbestos mines closed

By Kristy Kirkup, Parliamentary Bureau

OTTAWA - An Ontario woman whose husband died due to a painful asbestos-related illness brought her crusade against the mined mineral to Ottawa on Thursday.

Margaret Buist, 73, of Sarnia, has launched a postcard campaign to urge federal and provincial leaders to stop "promoting" the production of crysotile asbestos.

Buist's 58-year-old husband died to an asbestos-related disease in 1996. She said she promised her husband one thing during his health battle - when he cried, she didn't and when she cried, he didn't.

"I don't know how we did what we did," she said, stating her husband was exposed to asbestos while he worked for Imperial Oil.

Canada's last asbestos mine closed recently in Quebec due to financial and environmental issues - marking the end of a 130-year-old industry - but a Montreal asbestos trader is trying to reopen a mine in Asbestos, Que.

Quebec Premier Jean Charest said he would grant a $58-million government loan to support the project to kick start the failed mine, but the deal has not been approved yet.

Montreal-based asbestos businessman Balit Chadha is hopeful the project will be given the green light following a third-party safety audit. Chadha's company has already started reviewing resumes to hire 60 workers.

Buist was joined at an Ottawa news conference on Thursday by NDP MPs Pat Martin and Francois Lapointe to protest Charest's support for the project.

Martin said the Criminal Code of Canada should be amended to address what he calls "murder" by the asbestos industry.

The federal government maintains it has promoted "safe use of chrysotile domestically and internationally for more than 30 years" and scientific reviews confirm fibres can be used safely under controlled conditions.

Martin said an inventory of asbestos is still available from the last Canadian asbestos mine, but he said the industry will die "a natural death" if reopening the Quebec mine is rejected.

On Twitter: @kkirkup

Toronto Sun, February 16, 2012

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