Is Canada’s last major asbestos mine about to close?

Is it possible that the nationwide debate over asbestos waged over the last few months was pointless?

The Harper government decided it would continue exporting the carcinogenic fibre to various countries around the world. And, as discussed often on the GreenStream Environmental blog, an international firestorm ensued. Canada has been ridiculed like never before.

Crazily enough, though, the debate may be moot. After the government spent so much time defending asbestos exportation, it appears that the country’s last fully operational asbestos mine is on the verge of shutting down. Yep, LAB Chrysotile of Quebec may close its doors.

The mine is immersed in a conflict with its workers’ labour union. Whether or not the union is simply posturing as part of the negotiating process, it looks like a lengthy work stoppage is on the horizon.

The question now is: if LAB Chrysotile shuts down, is it the perfect opportunity for the rest of Canada to put extra heat on the government to make the closure permanent? Doing so could erase a black mark on Harper’s government. He is willingly exporting a carcinogen even as his own home is up for major asbestos remediation (hint: asbestos is toxic!).

The irony in the LAB Chrysotile labour dispute: these miners have a legitimate reason to demand better compensation for what they do. After all, they’re handling a fibre that causes cancer and scars their lungs upon entering them. It’s a ridiculous Catch-22. The miners, who shouldn’t be exporting a poisonous fibre anywhere according to most Canadians, deserve to be treated better as long as they are in fact handling deadly asbestos. Which they shouldn’t be. It’s a brain bender!

If only Canada could become a leader in asbestos removal instead of worrying about a mine that tries to find and distribute more of it.

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, mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA, 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.

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