Media Release

Don't back down [on promoting asbestos ban], two Conservative backbenchers urged by environmental groups

Sep 14 2009

Ottawa - Two Conservative MPs (Dona Cadman and Pat Davidson) who recently publicly opposed their party's pro-asbestos policy are being urged to stand firm.

The Sierra Club, the David Suzuki Foundation, the BC and the Saskatchewan Federations of Labour, university professors and others have issued an appeal to the two women MPs, asking them to resist any pressure being placed on them and instead stick with their conscience.

"Canadians are tired of cynicism from their MPs," said Kathleen Ruff of the Rideau Institute on International Affairs. "It is a breath of fresh air to have these two women MPs stand up for what is right. People across Canada are appalled that we are exporting a deadly substance to developing countries and that we are deliberately preventing them from knowing it’s hazardous. This does not represent Canadian values."

"The people of Sarnia-Lambton, where so many have died from asbestos-related diseases, welcome the fact that their MP, Pat Davidson, has taken up this issue with Health Minister Aglukkaq and Natural Resources Minister Raitt and that it will be discussed at cabinet," said Dr Jim Brophy, University of Windsor adjunct assistant professor. "We have offered both Ms Davidson and Ms Cadman our total support. We want to work with them to get the government to stop supporting asbestos."

“We hope the government will heed the overwhelming scientific evidence that all forms of asbestos are deadly and safe use has proved impossible,” said Dr Kapil Khatter, president of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment.

The last operating asbestos mine in Canada is in Thetford Mines, Quebec and employs 340 people. The Quebec government's National Public Health Institute has recommended against the government’s policy of increased use of Quebec’s chrysotile asbestos. Chrysotile asbestos is the only kind of asbestos sold in the world.

The appeal sent to the two MPs is attached.

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For more information:

Dr Jim Brophy, Cell: (519) 981-3566; jimbrophy@yahoo.com
Dr Kapil Khatter, Cell: (613) 864-9591; khatter7@gmail.com
Kathleen Ruff, (250) 847-1848; kruff@bulkley.net

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