Letter to end asbestos mining

As a follow up to yesterday’s “call to action” I went to sign the prepared letter to let the powers that be know I care.  The following is the info on the page and the letter quoted as well:

“Help us put a permanent end to Canada’s asbestos industry

The newly elected Quebec government has agreed to cancel a $58-million loan that would have reopened one of the last two asbestos mines in Canada. And last week the federal government announced that it will give money to mining communities to help them shift to safer forms of economic development and will no longer oppose the listing of chrysotile asbestos as a hazardous substance in international conventions. However, the Jeffrey Mine’s operator says the company will go ahead with plans to reopen the mine.

Exposure to asbestos is estimated to cause over 90,000 preventable deaths worldwide each year. About 40 countries have banned asbestos, including all member countries of the European Union. But the market for asbestos has continued, largely because of Canadian efforts to promote exports and block inspections on the international trade of this toxic substance.

It’s time to turn the page on a dark episode in our history, when economic interests came before the lives of thousands of men, women and children in Canada and Quebec. Lobbying from the industry is powerful. This is why we must insist that the Quebec and federal governments work to impose a permanent ban on mining and exporting this deadly substance.

Please take a moment to write to Canada’s prime minister and industry minister and Quebec’s premier to demand a permanent ban on asbestos mining and exports.”

The email message was sent to the following people:

To:

Hon. Pauline Marois – Premier of Quebec <commentairespm@mce.gouv.qc.ca>
Hon. Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry <christian.paradis@parl.gc.ca>
Right Hon. Stephen Harper – Prime Minister of Canada <stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca>

Cc:

Hon. Martine Ouellet – Minister of Natural Resources, Quebec <ministre@mrnf.gouv.qc.ca> 

The letter is quoted here verbatim:

Dear Prime Minister Harper, Premier Marois, and Industry Minister Paradis

The newly elected Quebec government made a commitment during the recent election campaign to cancel the government’s $58-million loan to the Jeffrey Mine. This loan would have reopened the mine, resulting in the export of 200,000 tonnes of asbestos a year for the next 20 years. The federal government followed up with a commitment to stop obstructing international efforts to list asbestos as a hazardous substance and to help fund asbestos-mining communities to diversify their economies. I am writing to congratulate both the Quebec and federal governments for these commitments and to urge you to promptly follow up.

 More than 90,000 people die every year worldwide because of exposure to asbestos. In Quebec, asbestos killed 373 workers between 2007 and 2010. There are no safety thresholds for asbestos exposure, and it is impossible to ensure that it is used safely wherever it is exported.

 I urge you to find courage and follow up on your commitments and to take them a step further by shutting the industry down for good by permanently banning the mining and export of asbestos. You will have my support, and you will earn the respect of millions of citizens who want to turn this dark page in our history.

Today’s “stone” is  Day 264  write, write, write more

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