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THE CANADIAN SOCIETY FOR ASBESTOS VICTIMS

VICTORIA, British Columbia, Sept 22 - As Parliamentarians return to business in Ottawa, CanSAV implores them to work on Canada’s biggest scandal.

Recognizing it as deadly, governments and international organizations around the world have condemned and moved to ban asbestos. Exposure to any form of asbestos has been conclusively demonstrated to cause higher rates of cancer.

Instead of moving to correct this sad state of affairs, the Quebec government has instead chosen to invest in the Jeffrey Mine, the largest single asbestos mine in Canada. The motivations are to protect jobs – but this is short-sighted in the extreme. Not only can workers be retrained, but they certainly deserve better than to be exposed to a proven carcinogen. So do all the future victims of the asbestos mined in Quebec and shipped elsewhere, mostly to Third World countries.

It doesn't end there. Canada continues to flout the Rotterdam Convention, which requires any nation to obtain consent prior to shipping asbestos abroad.

Canada's MPs can no longer plead ignorance; asbestos has never been more prominent in the news. In the past few months alone, The Quebec Medical Association, Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Medical Association called on Quebec to end its support of the Jeffrey Mine, a member of the European Parliament tabled a request for a World Trade Organization into Canadian subsidies for asbestos, and the International Labour Organization (ILO) reiterated its long-standing position in favour of a global ban.

Asbestos kills people. It is irresponsible and immoral to continue exposing workers and their families to a deadly substance.

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