Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Canada single-handedly blocks asbestos from Rotterdam hazards list

"Yes, I can confirm they intervened in the chemicals contact group meeting this afternoon and opposed listing,'' Michael Stanley-Jones of the UN Environment Program said.

Vietnam, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan also initially opposed the listing. However, Stanley-Jones said one-by-one they switched positions after India announced it would support the listing.

That left Canada as the lone voice against the listing.

"All had consented when Canada announced its position opposing listing,'' Stanley-Jones said.

Dangers in the Dust : Canada's Controversial Role
"No country has defended chrysotile as vigorously, and for as long, as Canada. When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a rule banning asbestos in 1989, the government of Canada participated in an industry lawsuit that overturned the rule. When France banned asbestos a decade later, Canada teamed up with Brazil in an unsuccessful World Trade Organization challenge. And when a United Nations chemical review committee recommended in 2008 that chrysotile be listed under Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention — a treaty that requires exporters of hazardous substances to use clear labeling and warn importers of any restrictions or bans — Canada, India, and a few other nations kept the recommendation from winning the unanimous support it needed to pass."

Not even an outright ban on chrysotile asbestos, just a treaty requiring safety labelling.

Toronto Star : Canada's booming asbestos market (2009)
"Last June, CBC-TV filmed the interior of an Eagle plant [in India] in which asbestos was exposed to the open air, everything the officially condoned “wet” process is meant to avoid. Pandya isn’t particularly fussed by the revelations that the operation does not comply with safety norms. That facility, run by his son, still uses the dry method, he says, and still purchases asbestos from LAB Chrysotile. The conduit? “I know Mr. Matta very well."
Mr. Matta is the exclusive agent in India for LAB Chrysotile Inc., which operates one of Canada’s two remaining asbestos operations, in Thetford Mines, Que.
Here on Jon Stewart, Bernard Colombe, president of Mine Jeffrey, explains that Indians have a natural immunity to forms of 'pollution' like asbestos.

And I still want to know - why did Sebastien Togneri, aide to Minister of Asbestos Christian Paradis, block access-to-information requests "involving the backgrounds of members of a government panel examining asbestos"?

1 comment:

Beijing York said...

Canada's become a disgrace on the world's stage thanks to freaking Harper.

Blog Archive