The consensus media in this country are apoplectic -- crying "shame, shame, shame" -- over Quebec's decision, backed by the Harper Conservatives, to give a $58-million loan to assist in the re-opening of Canada's last asbestos mine.
Our response? Give it a rest.
Since when did Canada become a helicopter mother or nanny to the entire world?
Every day industries in this country produce and sell a litany of noxious and toxic chemicals, shipping them around the world with the understanding they will be used properly.
If not, who's at fault? Certainly not the manufacturers, but the end user for failing to read the instructions or to heed the skull-and-crossbone warnings.
Got a cigarette? Smoking kills more people in the world in a week than those who perish from exposure to asbestos in a year, based on WHO statistics.
Yet tobacco is a nice little earner for the tax man.
When you buy antifreeze for your car, should the sales clerk at Canadian Tire escort you to your car, and then to your home, to make sure you don't drink it?
Antifreeze is a lethal poison, after all.
Canadian governments have long argued the chrysotile emanating from the Jeffrey Mine in Asbestos, Que. -- a bread-and-butter employer representing 425 jobs -- is perfectly safe if used properly.
India, as one example, wants tonnes of it for a composite in cement and, last we looked, it was not run by Neanderthals or two-year-olds.
Canada, having succumbed to political correctness, no longer uses asbestos, and neither do many developed countries. But it still does the job.
Editorialists on the left are demanding Canada drop its objection to listing chrysotile as a hazardous substance under the Rotterdam Convention, which forces exporters to fill out forms listing risks and safe-handling procedures.
This is what a nanny would do, or a helicopter mother hovering over her child.
It reminds us of those cardboard sunblockers you see behind car windshields in parking lots on hot summer days. And the caution for the dumb and the dumber.
"Do not drive with cardboard screen in place." It's the same with asbestos.
"Inhaling these fibres can eventually kill you." Now, how many tonnes do you want?
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