Canada is on the sidelines when it comes to banning asbestos trade

asbestos

Kathleen Ruff, who is both a board member and the senior human rights adviser of the Rideau Institute, wrote an article about how the Harper government is planning to refuse to support listing chrysotile asbestos as a hazardous substance under global trade rules (“Canada is on the sidelines when it comes to banning asbestos trade,” Toronto Star, 27 February 2015):

The Harper government makes a lot of noise about how sitting on the sidelines is contrary to Canadian values.

But when it comes to taking action to promote responsible trade that is exactly what the Harper government does: sit on the sidelines brandishing an absentee card. Or, worse, it vetoes international action in an ugly and arrogant style.

[…]

Canada’s conduct is reprehensible and goes beyond the asbestos issue and into the very guts of who we are as a country.

Ruff argues that the stance of the Harper Government demonstrates its contempt for democratic values, as it refuses to provide an explanation for its stance on the treaty requiring responsible trade in hazardous substances.

Secondly, the Harper government’s position puts Canada on the same side as Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, India and Zimbabwe, all of which have been firm supporters of the asbestos trade despite its deadly health risks.

In sitting on its hands and refusing to support the listing of chrysotile asbestos as a dangerous substance the Harper government is refusing to support responsible trade requirements.

Read the full article here: Canada is on the sidelines when it comes to banning asbestos trade

Photo credit:  Jacques Lebleu, Flickr

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