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NEWS: Will Marois win mean the end of asbestos exports?

Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois has previously stated that if elected her government would cancel Jean Charest’s $58-million loan to the Jeffrey asbestos mine, effectively ending the mining and export of this toxic and deadly industry in Canada. During the election, Québec Solidaire MNA Amir Khadir said, “It’s indefensible to export asbestos while knowing full well that it will be used in poorer countries in ways that are banned in Quebec and in Canada.” Last April, during the federal election, Stephen Harper made it clear his government would never ban the export of asbestos and just last June blocked an international ban on asbestos under the Rotterdam Convention, which operates by consensus. Twelve years ago, in September 2000, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow wrote then-trade minister Pierre Pettigrew stating, “Canada’s aggressive support of the asbestos industry and the pursuit of markets, in spite of the estimated and projected death toll from asbestos, is a disgraceful indication that Canada values trade in toxic materials above the health of its own citizens and the health of workers around the world.” We’ll be watching to see what actions Premier Marois takes against asbestos in the first days of her government.