Stop the Asbestos Industry!

I’ve spoken about asbestos in the past, but now is the time to really turn our attention to it because the industry has been revitalized by a $58 million dollar loan given by the Quebec government. Asbestos is used as a cheap insulator in walls but has recently been discovered to cause repiratory problems, like cancer. It’s illegal in Canada, but not in third world countries, like India where it is exported.

Many activists, including David Suzuki, have spoken out about this, so I decided to write a song! I included the fact that the town of Asbestos, QC actually celebrated at the news that the mine was re-opening. Also, when the owner of the mine was interviewed on Radio Canada by Jean-Sébastien Bernatchez, he said that everything causes cancer, even the sun.

For the lyrics of the song, I decided not to use any stylistic devices, like rhyming, metaphors, alliteration. Just put the problem out there in as simple terms as possible just to make sure that everyone gets the message. Because if everyone got the message, we wouldn’t be having this problem.

So here are the lyrics including chords & links:

Amin, D,
Amin, D, Emin,
Emin, Amin
Emin, D, Amin

There are many problems in this world
Let’s start with letter “a”
“A” for asbestos
A cause for respiratory problems in the lungs

It makes you feel like you’e suffocating to death
When indeed you actually are
It’s criminal possession in the west
But somehow okay in India

Asbestos is a working class killer
1000 tonnes for 1000 graves
Exported with Canada’s planes
For the economy at the end of the day

They clap, cheer and claim that its totally safe
But would they use it in their own house?
“A” is for assholes who cut corners regardless of how many human lives

Cocaine is harmful & illegal in the west
Especially to export it.
So how is this white powder any different?
Indeed it really isn’t

Asbestos is the working class killer
1000 tonnes for early graves
He actually said the sun is also to blame
Everything has cancer these days

Asbestos is a third world killer
1000 tonnes for 1000 graves
Exported in Canada’s planes
For money at the end of the day
For the economy at the end of the day

Asbestosis and Political Apathy

Asbestos, being the lethal substance that it is, is banned in Canada yet still remains to this day a heavily exported item. One member of parliament, being the one in my riding, has no problem making this clear with me.

The issue first came to my attention from a piece done by the CBC that insightfully explained the plight of the millions of Indians currently dying a excruciatingly painfully slow death because asbestosis.

Canada exports 4 millions tonnes of asbestos each year, a third of it goes to India, and the rest goes to Russia, Kazakhstan and Zimbabwe.

It goes without saying, this is very criminal and highly uncharacteristic of what the Canadian government is supposed to stand for.

There’s a few glimmers of hope though, a few NDP MP’s have brought the issue up, and even Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff voiced his concern in parliament.

I wanted my MP to join the movement, but he made it no secret that he fully supports the exports of asbestos!

To my utter dismay, Jim Karygiannis (who is a ‘liberal’) tells me that we need to be mindful of the jobs in Quebec (where asbestos is mined), and Canadian businesses have to stay competitive. If we ban the exports, then India will buy asbestos from another country, and Canada will lose money. oh no.

I told him these are the low morales of a used car salesman, not the Canadian government!

He went on to use analogies such as guns being banned in Canada but we still produce and export them to other countries. In fact there is a factory in Scarborough that produces guns! Should we close it down in light of the fact that 200 families will be without food on the table?

Could he at least be more convincing in his arguing? Did I have to tell him this short sighted view doesn’t consider that those guns kills way more than 200 people, if not a lot more people around the world!

Then he gave me some silly shpeel of how the money makes the world go round, and we gotta create jobs. So why stop human trafficking? Where does ethics come to play?

But he seemed to have more insight in that regard, “I saw suffering. I was in Iraq last week,” So?

For him, money is the bottom line. The mission in Afghanistan was just to give soldiers jobs he said.

I don’t mind an opinion, but I do mind an ill-informed one. Then I checked his credentials, which was engineering. That might explain why he thinks in numbers, but that’s not an excuse.

If you live in the Scarborough/Agincourt riding, please let him know that some Canadians care about others, even if they are Indian.

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