Canada’s long and sorry saga of exporting death (asbestos) and defending it loudly and proudly in international fora is over and I needed to mark this happy day on the blog. The newly elected provincial government in Quebec, the Parti Quebecois have followed through on their campaign promise to finally end this small “industry” employing a few workers. Canada will no longer produce asbestos, or fight the listing of asbestos as a toxic substance.
It is going to take $50 million in government funds, a fraction of the cost of one fighter jet, to transition the workers away (if they get the money, not the mine owners). That’s it, why were we exporting death to India and other countries for this, I don’t know.
Canada’s many conservative and liberal governments fought hard for years to preserve the industry, using techniques lifted from tobacco propaganda, or today’s climate change challenges. I leave you with the ruling Canadian government’s response: Finely tuned to appeal to everyone who likes mesothelioma, cancer and death.
“Mrs. Marois’s decision to prohibit chrysotile mining in Quebec will have a negative impact on the future prosperity of the area,” (Industry Minister) Mr. Paradis said in a statement.
That about sums it up. But, it is a good day for public health, nevertheless.
Featured image courtesy wikipedia used under a Creative Commons license (a micrograph of asbestos fibres causing lesions in the lung).