December 5th, 2012

Statement by François Lapointe on rejection of his motion on asbestos

Today, the Conservative government broke another one of its promises by voting against the New Democrat motion to include asbestos on the Rotterdam Convention list of hazardous substances. The motion also sought to establish an economic diversification plan for regions that still depend on this harmful industry.

This fall, the Conservatives promised to no longer oppose the inclusion of asbestos on the Rotterdam Convention list of hazardous substances.

By voting against the NDP motion, the Conservatives are refusing to support the efforts of the international community to raise awareness among importing countries of the dangers linked to asbestos use. Once again, the Conservatives chose to blindly support the industry to the detriment of public health.

We know that many Conservative MPs voted against their beliefs and would have liked to join in our efforts and those of many national and international organizations as well as health professionals who oppose the government’s position.

The Conservatives’ empty rhetoric also has consequences for asbestos workers who count on the federal government to help them generate other sources of revenue in their regions.

The motion also called on the government to publish a list of buildings under federal jurisdiction containing asbestos and ensure the health of employees in those buildings.

The NDP will continue its efforts to help asbestos workers and their families, who have already suffered enough from the damages caused by this dangerous substance.