The Toronto Star, which has the largest broadsheet circulation in Canada, has an enormous impact on Canada’s federal and provincial politics as well as shaping public opinion.
For years the federal government has been warned by doctors, environmentalists, unions, even Health Canada, about the deadly impact of asbestos. But Ottawa remains intransigent about curbing exports of this harmful mineral. Once again this week it opposed listing chrysotile asbestos on the United Nations’ list of dangerous materials. Once again it acted irresponsibly.
At a summit in Switzerland to discuss the Rotterdam Convention — a UN treaty on the international trading of hazardous substances — Canadian officials quietly blocked the inclusion of asbestos on the list of dangerous materials, joining such countries as Vietnam, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
The hypocrisy is staggering. The federal government has spent millions to clear its own buildings of this noxious material — including taking it out of 24 Sussex Drive to protect the Prime Minister and his family. Canadian companies, schools and homeowners have also removed asbestos from their structures. Yet we happily export it. Continue Reading →