Monday, October 27, 2008

Canada ♥'s Asbestos

Continual apologies for my spotty updates might get old but what can ya do? There's plenty on in my life and the life of others but my reason for posting today revolves around the Canadian government and the unsavoury negotiating positions it can take. Seeing Canada's "Environment Minister" (quotes represent irony) be a voice against Kyoto was quite frustrating. Remarkably, I find that less frustrating than the role Canada has played in ensuring that asbestos continues to be shipped around the world.

While climate change is (thankfully) being recognized as a huge potential risk to all of us, it is largely theoretical (particularly for those who doubted its existence in the past). Even those who have not questioned climate change and its risks have likely seldom seen damage done as its direct result.

Asbestos (in particular forms) on the other hand, is universally recognized as a carcinogenic hazard. Within Canada, extensive efforts have been made to protect people from exposure yet in 2006 Canada stood as the sole Western country trying to ensure the continued free movement of the product around the world. Remarkably, Canada looked to... Iran and Zimbabwe for support. That is would appear to be an "about-face" from most policy efforts undertaken by our government. Perhaps that's just my optimism speaking. Chances are there are more of these unsavoury stances being taken than I am aware of.

Again this week, countries are meeting to discuss a number of hazardous materials (including asbestos). I can only hope that Canada doesn't remain a voice against reason and that we might finally see the value in ending the production and distribution of such a dangerous product.

1 comment:

Heather of the West said...

All of Canada's working asbestos mines are in Quebec.

Given that, I wouldn't hold my breath for an end to Canadian production. Especially when about a quarter of MPs are from Quebec, and we're electing minority governments.