Monday, 20 June 2011

Canada, Jobs and Morality

As some of you might have seen on your facebook feeds, there are two main sites going around talking about Stephen Harper's mistakes and another speaking about Canada and Asbestos.

I thought I would dedicate this blog entry to both of these sites and their valiant effort to bring public awareness to topics that might otherwise be "swept under the rug," away from public enlightenment and scrutiny.

So, I give my applaud to and, both sites attempt to portray an opinion and facts to people in ways that grab more of the average reader's attention.

I will be honest, I decided to write this blog because I feel that a really important question comes from this issue. We often hear about environmentalists debating with business about the Progress vs. Nature debate. Should we cut down all of our forest to allow more housing and business to grow or leave it and hold our economy back? However, with the asbestos issue we get a similar question with a very identical structure, but with different actors. We now see our country banning and removing all forms of asbestos, but still mining it for the use of exporting it to developing countries.

Does anyone see any hypocrisy in this?

Lets way in the Pros and Cons for Asbestos:

White Asbestos

Reasons why Asbestos mining should be allowed:
-Quebec has a few mines within it that primarily provide the Asbestos that Canada exports
-Stephen Harper promised Quebecers that he would stand behind them and ensure white Asbestos could continue to be mined
-Around 350 jobs are saved by allowing the mining of Asbestos to continue
-Developing countries often apply White Asbestos to building contracts, often mixing it with other materials to supplement a lack of wood products. Example: Building walls and interiors with products combined with white asbestos.

Reasons against Asbestos use:
-Scientifically proven to significantly increase the chances of developing a few serious forms of cancer
-Although importers of Asbestos guarantee it will be used responsibly, that does not guarantee anything since exposure to anything with Asbestos still increases your chances of developing cancer.
-Over 100,000 people a year die from Asbestos related diseases, these are the numbers reported, overall cancer is killing off many more people.

Apparently, developed nations have come to the reasoning to understand the dangers of Asbestos use in general, yet we are fine when it comes to selling it to other nations who may not have as much understanding surrounding the toxicity of the substance. It is almost as if we are showing our egotism through capitalism, we are supposed to be enlightened, so we will protect OUR people, but if they are barbaric enough to buy the stuff, then we will sell it to THEIR people!

An old product that capitalized on the fire resistant traits of Asbestos

Check out this informative CBC article for more information on the Asbestos issue in Canada:

I look at the facts surrounding this debate and understand that in a time where our economy is suffering, people need to continue putting food on their family's table. Yet, when I see a government that has gone to so many lengths to remove Asbestos from our country, yet continue to sell it abroad...something does not sit right with me. Sure, people rely on this substance to bring in a wage, but is the money truly worth cutting back your life span and potentially your family's life span as a result? How can we even trust that the uses of Asbestos are properly enforced, when our own government does one thing, yet endorses a completely opposite thing?

I want to hear from you(The Readers) and see what your opinion on this is. I know the majority of our buildings and products no longer use Asbestos, but if we are exporting this material to developing countries and a lot of our products are also being manufactured in these countries...does it worry you that Asbestos might somehow make a full circle and return to us?

Not in my country, better dispose of it quick, the Chinese said they will buy it!

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