This is the rather grim message being put out by British Columbia’s Building Trades Union. Most of us think of BC as the home of aging hippies with creative grow op’s. And the few aging hippies that don’t do Marijuana are out hunting mushrooms, some legal, expensive, and delicious, some illegal, foul tasting, and hallucinogenic.

t was strange to read a story concerning Asbestos problems in British Columbia. In fact I was doubtful about the truthfulness when I first found it. Unless Asbestos can be smoked, I could see little reason why it would be in BC. But it is true. It transpires that Canada is one of the few countries that have not completely ceased the mining of asbestos.

According to Wayne Peppard, Executive Director of the BC and Yukon Territory Building and Construction Trades Council (BCYT). Mesothelioma and the other asbestos related illnesses will claim the lives of at least 1500 hundred people in British, and the vast majority will be construction workers.

Why the problem to ban asbestos? If it is that bad, why don’t the Government fix it? Thats a great question, and one that I ask often. The answer is politics, Canada is really two countries, there is Canada, and then there is Quebec! Quebec are Canada’s disaster area, they threaten to leave, but unfortunately never give the rest of us the opportunity to vote on the idea! I am pretty sure that if there was a vote, they might opt to stay, but the rest of Canada would opt to oust them! Asbestos comes from Quebec, and because they whine so much, they get to do what they want. Mining asbestos, seems insane to most of us, but apparently it makes sense in Quebec.

Peppard continued “Canada is among a very few countries left in the world that have not ratified the inclusion of chrysotile asbestos in the United Nations Rotterdam Convention, we urge all of the federal parties to support a total ban on use and export of asbestos before the next meeting by the UN on the Rotterdam Convention in October.”

Of course the chances of this happening are right up there with George W. Bush winning a Nobel Peace Prize.

Asbestos has a long and ugly history, whether it be Asbestosiss, Mesothelomia, or a number of other ‘un-natural’ and other unpronounceable medical problems, it is a killer. Yet we in Canada allow it to continue.

Where did we go wrong?

Simon Barrett

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