As the first hour of debate in the House on motion M-381 approaches, New Democrat MP François Lapointe (Montmagny-L’Islet-Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup) called for an industrial restructuring plan for the economies of regions that still depend on asbestos mining.
Motion M-381 contains several elements that were ignored in Industry Minister Christian Paradis’ announcement. The motion calls for the inclusion of chrysotile asbestos on the Rotterdam Convention list of dangerous substances, the establishment of an industrial restructuring plan towards sustainable economic sectors for communities affected, as well as an inventory of contaminated federal buildings.
“The NDP has been working for years to stop Canada from supporting asbestos production. Consultations with representatives from the asbestos region – mining workers, scientists, union members and politicians – all led to the same conclusion: the possibility of a better economic future is taking shape for the asbestos region, after decades of hardship.”
Lapointe also demanded that the $50M economic diversification fund announced by Minister Paradis be managed transparently. The public must be consulted on the model of diversification available in their area. Decisions on the use of funds must include the opinion of representatives from the business world, municipal officials and union representatives affected by the industrial restructuring of the asbestos region.
“After years of contradicting the international census on public health, the Harper government is finally listening to reason. I invite all MPs to support this motion to find the best solution for the affected regions.”