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UPDATE: Council supports call to stop asbestos exports

The Council of Canadians signed on to a full-page ad that appears in today’s Ottawa Citizen.

The RightOnCanada.ca ad says, “All asbestos kills. That’s why over 50 countries have banned it, and why the World Health Organization has called for an end to its use. That’s why no industrialized country, including Canada, uses it. That’s why we spend millions of dollars removing it from our schools, hospitals and homes.”

“But Canada still exports asbestos to developing countries. Stephen Harper is the only national political leader who still supports the export of asbestos.”

“Prime Minister Harper, stop exporting asbestos disease to the developing world.”

THE COUNCIL OF CANADIANS
The Council of Canadians has long opposed the Canadian government’s support of the asbestos industry.

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 also released a report that year that called on the federal government to “plan for the global elimination of the asbestos industry and initiate a ‘just transition’ strategy for the industry and its workers.” We highlighted that, “A primary consideration must be to ensure that the cost of the demise of this industry is not exclusively or disproportionately borne by the workers and the towns that are dependent on the asbestos industry.”

In June 2009, we joined with the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Canadian Auto Workers, Canadian Environmental Law Association, David Suzuki Foundation, Ecojustice, MiningWatch Canada, Rideau Institute on International Affairs, and others to demand that Canadian parliamentarians heed the call to ban Canadian asbestos.

For more, go to http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=4281.