Canadian Federal Government Finally Backs Down from Asbestos Stance

Just as we speculated a couple of weeks ago, the federal government has now jumped off the sinking ship of asbestos production and exportation from Quebec.  Specifically, the Harper government has reversed the pro-asbestos stand it’s held in the face of international outcry and announced that it will no longer block international efforts to add chrysotile asbestos – the variety found and mined in Quebec – from the Rotterdam Convention.

The Rotterdam Convention
The Rotterdam Convention is a treaty entered into under the auspices of the United Nations and consists of a list of known hazardous materials. Materials that fall under the list are subject to trade restrictions. The important thing is that the list can only exist by consensus, so Canada’s stubborn stance has meant the difference between listing it and not.

It’s ironic that Canadians have the separatist Parti Québécois to thank for the development. The newly elected provincial government and its leader, Pauline Marois, have stated they will cancel the $58 million loan the previous provincial government promised to reopen the giant Jeffrey Mine. There have even been statements to the effect that they intend to ban chrysotile asbestos mining altogether.

Now, Ottawa will finally put money where it should be, offering up to $50 million towards diversifying the economy in the areas of Quebec where they mine it.

In Your Home Too?
The fact is that here in North America we are still dealing with the fallout from a decades long dependence on asbestos for construction purposes. Fire resistant and nearly indestructible, it was once considered a ‘miracle’ construction material. It was only after decades of exposure that the first signs of its health effects – including incurable mesothelioma – became evident.

  • The fact of the matter is that if a house was built before 1970, you have to assume that it contains asbestos, and it may appear in a wide variety of places.
  • If you’re planning on buying an older home, an asbestos inspection should be an essential part of your pre-purchase checklist.

Before you buy, call in the experts from GreenStream Environmental Services for an asbestos inspection. If you already own an older home, we offer professional vermiculite and asbestos remediation services to help you contain and then rid yourself of this problem.

In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414.  You’ll be glad you did