What a disgrace. The Governments of Canada and Quebec continue to use their political power to prop up the asbestos industry. Last week, Canada blocked international efforts to include asbestos in a United Nations treaty on hazardous substances (the Rotterdam Convention).
Meanwhile, the Government of Quebec has conditionally approved a $58 million loan to allow the Jeffrey Mine to continue extracting asbestos for export to developing countries — despite mounting opposition at home and abroad.
The David Suzuki Foundation has joined a coalition of environmental groups calling on the Government of Quebec to reverse this decision.
There is some good news: The federal government's spending plan tabled earlier this month indicates that government funding to the pro-asbestos lobby group, the Chrysotile Institute, will not be renewed. Canadian taxpayer subsidies to the institute have totalled more than $20 million since 1984.
All types of asbestos are harmful and cause cancer. The federal government and Quebec can help prevent deaths from cancer and other asbestos-related diseases by acting now to stop Canadian asbestos mining and export.