Dr. Dawg

Asbestos: the politics of death

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Lung asbestos.jpg

Under enormous pressure from scientists, health professionals, cancer victims and human rights campaigners, the Harper government has reversed course and will not oppose the listing of asbestos as a toxic substance under the Rotterdam Convention.

Well, not exactly.

Instead, the new Quebec Premier, Pauline Marois, will be fulfilling a pledge to end the export of asbestos, a poison responsible for countless agonizing deaths in the Third World.

Harper had no objection to killing non-voters somewhere else so long as he could retain a toehold in Quebec. But with this latest development, what does he have to gain? Concede, and take a slap at Marois into the bargain. No doubt opposition to exporting lethal toxins is an example of separatism in action.

Think about this for a moment. Listing of a substance under the Rotterdam Convention is supposed to be based upon scientifically proven toxicity, not some provincial election result. Did asbestos somehow become more lethal once Marois was elected?

The Conservatives are even going to throw a few million bucks into transition measures for the few workers involved. Why didn’t they do that before? No need. After all, voters in Canada are protected from asbestos. It can’t legally be used here any more.

And now there’s no longer going to be any asbestos to export. May as well be ahead of the curve, rather than insisting upon a now-theoretical right to export death to thousands of brown people in other countries.

The Conservative political calculus in action: cynical, precise—and utterly amoral.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on September 15, 2012 2:34 PM.

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