Press statement- Dated 3 December 2010(For Immediate Release)
As the survivors of the world’s worst industrial disaster-Bhopal gas tragedy (1984) prepare for the 26th anniversary of the disaster on 3rd December 2010, mourning their dead and fighting for their survivors, the workers and health activists from Asia gear up to fight the Quebec government (Canada) and its powerful asbestos industry from exporting more asbestos deaths to Asia.
The Quebec government is preparing to give a loan guarantee of $58 million to rescue the asbestos industry and allow the opening of the new Jeffrey underground mine. An international consortium of investors, led by Baljit Chadha, a Canadian industrialist of Indian origin, is investing in this misadventure. The opening of the mine would result in the export of 200,000 tonnes of asbestos a year to developing countries (in Asia and Africa) for the next 25 to 50 years.
For decades Quebec has exported deadly white (Chrysotile) asbestos to the developing countries using false industry propaganda and unethical science to assure them that asbestos can be used safely. These propaganda campaigns were financed and disseminated by powerful industry and complicit government. While the world, including the Quebec government and scientific community, recognized the harmful nature of asbestos and took action to protect its own citizens, Canada continued to export deaths to the ‘third’ world.
We, representatives of labour and health groups from India strongly condemn and protest this deliberate attempt by the Quebec government to expose the citizens of poorer countries to a substance that they do not even want in their own country. Bhopal was an example of what goes wrong when corporations and complicit governments rule the world. The continued export of asbestos is a crime against humanity.
Quebec, Stop slow motion Bhopals!
For more information Contact
Coordinator – OEHNI
Occupational and Environmental Health Network of India
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ph – 011-29531814
Education Officer – South Asia
Building and Woodworkers International
Email – email@example.com
Ph – 01141550670