Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Asbestos vote today at Natural Resources Committee

{updated below}
Dear Prime Minister Harper,

While cutting funds from women's groups and aboriginal healing programs, you want to give $ 250,000.00 of taxpayers' money to the Chrysotile Institute (a registered lobby group for the asbestos industry).

I strongly object to my taxes being given to an asbestos lobby group. The Canadian Cancer Society, health experts and asbestos victims' groups overseas have all appealed to you to stop funding the Chrysotile Institute.

I call on you to stop this callous misuse of public funds immediately. I look forward to receiving your positive reply.

[Your name here.] and it cc's Iggy, Jack, etc at the link.
An estimated 90,000 individuals die annually due to asbestos-related diseases, according to data from the World Health Organization. Canada reportedly mined approximately 150,000 to 200,000 tons of the stuff in 2008 and exported most of it to countries like India and Indonesia where the responsibility for warning workers of its dangers is up to the local government.
The one remaining asbestos mine in Canada, second largest exporter of asbestos in the world, is in the riding of Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis.

At the last meeting of the Committee on Natural Resources, NDP Pat Martin moved to cut the $250,000 funding the department allocates to the Chrysotile Institute. No one supported the motion, and the other committee members - I'm looking at you, Libs - slunk away so there was no longer the quorum necessary for the vote.

That vote will come up again when the committee reconvenes today. Send them a wee nudge via Kathleen Ruff's letter above.

And while you're at it, you might want to add a little note to Christian Paradis, Minister of Asbestos, asking him why the fuck his Natural Resouces Ministry is paying Chrysotile $250,000 in order to lobby him.
Noon Update : Today's recorded vote on Natural Resources Committee motion to remove government subsidy to Chrysotile Asbestos Institute : Defeated 9-1
Geoff Regan, Liberal - NO ............ Nathan Cullen, NDP - YES
Navdeep Bains, Liberal - NO ........ Cheryl Gallant, Con - NO
Alan Tonks, Liberal - NO ............. Richard Harris, Con - NO
Paule Brunelle, Bloc - NO ............ David Anderson, Con - NO
Mauril BĂ©langer, Liberal - NO ...... Bernard Genereux, Con - NO


Anonymous said...

Nice letter. Hopefully here in the U.S. our Ban Asbestos Now (B.A.N. - http://www.banasbestosnow.com) campaign can drum up as much attention as the issue is getting in Canada. Asbestos is nothing short of poison - let's get our leaders to B.A.N. it!

- JM

Alison said...

JM : Well as you can see from my update, we lost the vote 9-1 in the Natural Resources Committee this morning. The Libs say they are afraid of asking for any amendment to a budget issue because the Cons might use that to trigger an election the Libs are afraid they can't win.
Yeah, I'm sure the Cons want to be seen to trigger an election over their support for the asbestos industry.

Anonymous said...

Hey Alison: just saw your update, as well as the related media coverage - some even going as far to call the liberals "spineless." Admittedly, I'm unfamiliar with Canadian politics, but like you am confused as to why the hazards of asbestos is at all debatable. Will keep watching with great interest...and hope that your movement to B.A.N. gets some new life.
- JM, http://www.banasbestosnow.com

croghan27 said...

Do we cut the Bloc (Brunelle) some slack for voting with the Libcons because asbestos is found in Quebec?


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