Canada's ongoing and unconscionable export of asbestos to developing countries continues to be a source of moral outrage to millions, not just in Canada but throughout much of the world. I have written many posts on the subject, always recognizing that my efforts are puny and will not result in any change in practice by a government that seems guided only by business imperatives that exist in a moral vacuum.
I am therefore heartened to see Avaaz now circulating a petition to try to persuade Quebec Premier Jean Charest to do the right thing on this issue. Please take a moment to read the full text below and consider signing the petition::
Dear friends Across Canada,
In two days, Quebec could give a $58 million loan guarantee to an asbestos mine -- allowing it to continue pumping out poison for export around the world. But our call now to keep public money out of poisonous mines could force Quebec's Premier to back off the deal.
Asbestos kills over 100,000 people every year and is practically banned in Canada, but Quebec Premier Charest continues to finance its extraction and export to countries like India -- poisoning the world's most vulnerable citizens. The cancer corporations who own these mines have run out of funds and banks wont lend to them without the backing of Quebec's government. Charest is on the verge of agreeing to help out, but our public money shouldn't be on the hook for a poisonous mine. By shining a light on this dirty deal, we can force Charest to back off the loan guarantee and close the asbestos mine for good.
Let's make sure cancer-causing asbestos is not a national export. Join in the call to end public finance of this poisonous mine. When we reach 50,000 signers we will deliver the petition directly to Charest. Sign below and forward to everyone:
Asbestos reserves in the Jeffrey Mine (located in Asbestos, Quebec) are dwindling and their cancer consortium needs financial backing from the Quebec government to unlock a new massive underground reserve that will let it produce its poison for another 50 years. If the Charest government agrees to help finance this project, over 200 million tonnes of asbestos will be unlocked, mined and exported, causing illness and death in countries like India -- the worlds largest importer of Canadian asbestos.
Asbestos is practically banned for use in Canada. It is so hazardous that it can only be used if no part of the substance is ever exposed to the open air. Federal politicians are currently spending $863 million to renovate and remove asbestos from Parliament’s West Block, yet its extraction and export to developing countries remains legal.Canadians only used 6,000 tonnes of the poisonous material in 2006. Still, we exported 153,000 tonnes of asbestos in 2009.
The asbestos lobby claims that Quebec’s financial support will help create 500 jobs. By signing this petition we can help save hundreds of thousands of lives by cutting off the funding needed to mine this deadly product. Sign this petition and tell Charest that Canadians from all provinces are against the mining and export of cancer-causing asbestos.
Avaaz members just won a major victory when we came together and urged the Ontario government to review the Highland Companies' mining application in Ontario that would have poisoned the province's water supply. Today we can stand united again and urge the Quebec government to immediately stop funding the asbestos industry and save millions of lives.
Emma, Ari, Alice, Ricken, Shibayan, Morgan, and the entire Avaaz team
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