Ottawa, Canada: Speaking in the House on NDP motion M-381 concerning the responsibility of the government for the current state of the asbestos industry in Canada, New Democrat critic for Asia Pacific Gateway, Jasbir Sandhu (Surrey North) called on the Conservatives to stop supporting and promoting the production and export of dangerous chrysotile asbestos.
“Despite the clear body of medical and scientific evidence that asbestos causes cancer and other serious health problems, Canada has sponsored and funded 160 trade missions in 60 countries to promote asbestos,” said Sandhu. “The Conservatives have been giving $250,000 per year to the Chrysotile Institute, a lobby group from the asbestos sector that denies the medical consensus and promotes asbestos sales internationally. This is unacceptable.”
For years, Conservatives have worked to block the international consensus on adding chrysotile to the United Nations list of dangerous substances.
“With this motion we are asking them to stop their wrong-headed support of asbestos once and for all, and establish an industrial restructuring plan for the industry in Canada”, said Sandhu.
Motion M-381 calls for the inclusion of chrysotile asbestos on the Rotterdam Convention list of dangerous substances, the establishment of an industrial restructuring plan towards sustainable economic sectors for communities affected, as well as an inventory of contaminated federal buildings.
Source: Lyne Robichuad, NDP Press Secretary