The non conformer's Canadian Weblog

December 9, 2010

actions speak louder over words

Anti-asbestos activists meet Que. minister Group travelled from Asia to protest asbestos mineral’s export
Anti-asbestos activists from Asia make their case to the Quebec government Thursday. (CBC)Anti-asbestos activists from Asia brought their message to Quebec’s minister of economic development Thursday. The group met with ( my  useless  MLA) Clément Gignac, hoping to persuade him not to provide financial support for a Quebec asbestos mine.The Charest government is considering a $58-million loan guarantee to an Indian consortium that wants to reopen the Jeffrey mine near Asbestos Que., north of Sherbrooke. But the Asian delegation is asking the government to do otherwise. “Millions of workers in the developing countries are going to be exposed to the asbestos which is being exported from Canada,” said union activist Anup Srivastava from India. Of 13 original mines there is only one left in operation in Quebec extracting the cancer-causing mineral. Once valued for its heat resistance, flexibility and insulation properties, it is banned in many parts of the world, including the European Union. The delegation from India, Japan, Indonesia and Korea had hoped to meet with Premier Jean Charest, but Charest refused their request. Kathleen Ruff, a human rights adviser at the Rideau Institute, said it’s unacceptable that both Charest and Prime Minister Stephen Harper continue to defend the asbestos industry. “It’s inexcusable on the level of science, and inexcusable on the level of humanity. The only reason is politics, that they want to win the seat where the asbestos mine is located,” she said.
“Harper and Charrest should be charged for exporting asbestos, a hazardous material, to developping countries, blocking its listing at the Rotterdam Convention and wasting taxpayers’ money in shameful propaganda with the Chrysotile Institute. Dear Prime Minister, Dear Premier Charrest, THE SCIENCE is there. There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos to anybody, black, white, big or small, male or female.
If you don’t listen to science, use your integrity and keep it strong. Do not cause harm to anybody on this planet for 500 jobs. We could buy each one of those 500 jobs with the $58 million gift contemplated to be given to the consortium. The poor workers who had been pressured to drop their earning to $14/hr would be more than happy to start local businesses with a a lump sum of $116,000. This would be a very good use of my taxpayer’s money.
All about money – gotta buy those votes! Nobody with money or in a position of power cares one bit about the welfare of people – especially about those who live in poor countries and/or who have brown skin.”
Mr. Charest, please pass the torch? Mr. Charest, please light the torch at least for you  would like us to be in the dark for a much too long  time..  In every politician’s career, there comes the time to throw in the towel.

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