Government won’t reveal its position on asbestos

PMO says carcinogen can be safe under “controlled conditions”

The federal government won’t reveal what its stance will be on chrysotile asbestos at an upcoming international conference in Geneva. Twice in the past, Canada has blocked the known carcinogen from being placed on a global list of hazardous chemicals under the Rotterdam Convention, which operates by consensus. Even though Canada has spent tens of millions of dollars removing the chemical from public buildings, including Parliament, it remains one of the world’s main exporters of asbestos. Minister of Industry Christian Paradis told the CBC that the Canada’s position on asbestos hasn’t changed in 30 years and that “we won’t necessarily recommend” the chemical to be listed at the meeting in Geneva. PMO spokesman Dmitri Soudas said the Canadian government maintains that chrysotile asbestos “can be used safely under controlled conditions.” More than 200 health experts have signed an open letter to the prime minister saying the government’s position is “harming Canada’s international reputation.”

Canadian Press


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