Posted: Thursday, 28 April 2011
CLC President Ken Georgetti has written to Stephen Harper challenging the Prime Minister’s continued support during the election campaign for Canada’s asbestos industry. Georgetti says asbestos is responsible for killing 100,000 people a year and its use is no longer defensible. Georgetti says there are no international conditions for the safe and controlled use of asbestos.
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
Dear Prime Minister:
During your visit yesterday to Asbestos, Quebec you stated that “This government will not put Canadian industry in a position where it is discriminated against in a market where sale is permitted.” Prime Minister, the use of asbestos is no longer defensible. Not only are there no international conditions of safe and controlled use, your Government has done everything possible to stop asbestos from being included in the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) list under the Rotterdam Convention.
It is more than ironic that just two days before April 28, the internationally recognized day to remember the thousands of women and men killed and injured each year at work or from occupational illness, that you would publicly support the production and export of one of the worst killers of all. One that is responsible for killing 100,000 people each year.
Those white shrouds covering the Parliament Buildings are there, Prime Minister to protect you and others from being exposed to asbestos dust for a reason. Did you think of that while you were playing politics with people’s lives?
Your crass attempt to get votes, while demonstrating complete disregard for human life in developing countries, is deeply disturbing. Canada must end its support for the deadly asbestos export trade.
We call upon you to put people’s lives ahead of politics.
Kenneth V. Georgetti
Canadian Labour Congress