Inside Politics

The return of the asbestos debate

The NDP are using next week's opposition day to bring back the debate over asbestos.

It's an issue the Conservatives faced last June, when the Canadian delegation at a UN meeting helped block the addition of chrysotile asbestos to a list of hazardous products.

In August, a group of doctors and public health professionals called on doctor-turned- Conservative MP Kellie Leitch to work against Canada's asbestos industry.

The Conservatives continue to support the industry, which still has a working mine in the Quebec riding of Industry Minister Christian Paradis.

If it's not handled carefully, asbestos can cause mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer. Canada doesn't allow its use here, but exports it to countries like India, where workers often handle it without protective gear.

The NDP have Monday allotted to them to have the House of Commons debate any subject they choose.

Here's the text of the motion by MP Claude Gravelle :

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should:

(a)          ban the use and export of asbestos;

(b)          support international efforts to add chrysotile asbestos to the list of hazardous chemical products under the Rotterdam Convention;

(c)           assist affected workers by developing a Just Transition Plan with measures to accommodate their re-entry into the workforce;

(d)          introduce measures dedicated to affected older workers, through the employment insurance program, to assure them of a decent standard of living until retirement; and

(e)          support communities and municipalities in asbestos producing regions through an investment fund for regional economic diversification.

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