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EU Parliament shall call for Sanctions on Canada and initiate further anti-asbestos activities in the EU
On 12th July 2011, MEP Stephen Hughes and representatives of the EFBWW and of a group of Canadian non-governmental organisations discussed recent threats for public health and the environment by the Canadian government.

Bernd Eisenbach, speaking for the EFBWW, repeated the EFBWW call for sanctions against Canada for derailing a United Nations’ protocol to protect vulnerable populations from the hazards of asbestos. At the Rotterdam Convention meeting, from 20 to 24 June 2011, Canadian representatives single-handedly derailed a long-standing attempt to include chrysotile asbestos to the Convention’s prior informed consent procedure list despite support for this listing from 142 out of 143 Parties to the Convention.
"Now it is necessary, that the European parliament takes note of the obstructive be-haviour of the Canadian delegation," he said. "The European parliament should con-sider measures against Canada such as sanctions and trade boycotts which would translate outrage into action. The $58 million loan guarantee that the Quebec gov-ernment offered an international consortium for the opening of a new asbestos mine in Quebec must be declined. Otherwise this will result in uncountable numbers of new asbestos victims all over the world. The EP parliament should ask the European commission to explore all possible options for effecting change in Canada's asbestos policy."

Stuart Trew, for the Council of Canadians, explained how the Canada-EU Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) will affect social and environmental policy in the EU and Canada.
"The Canadian government has been fiercely lobbying the EU parliament, the Europe-an Commission and EU Member States to water down the fuel quality directive in a way it that would facilitate increased exports of unconventional oil from the Canadian tar sands to the European market ", he said. "The deal, if signed, could allow tar sands ordered imports into Europe and give dramatic new powers to Europe's multinational oil companies. It could trample over indigenous rights and undermine a range of social and environmental legislation on both sides of the Atlantic."

Supported by speakers of The Indigenous Environmental Network, the UK Tar Sands Network, called “for the negotiations to be halted until they can be subjected to full public scrutiny and have the many social and environmental threats removed."

Stephen Hughes said, "he would take care of further action against the Canadian policy in the European parliament."
"The Canadian policy is threatening the environment and the health conditions as well as the moral basis of developed societies", he added. "But we still have a lot to do in Europe. The EU has introduced the ban of Asbestos in Europe and has also funded basic conditions for safe working conditions for those who are intentionally dealing with Asbestos. However, despite of all efforts the hazard is still present and can strike everybody. Asbestos remains a deadly material, and in spite of an exten-sive ban and extensive efforts made to eliminate it, it is still everywhere throughout Europe. Indeed, asbestos can be found in many different places, but particularly in public and private buildings, where its presence is often unknown. One can find it also in ships, in trains and in everyday products like thermos flasks. The enduring health threats caused by the asbestos contamination stands in sharp contrast to the aim of Article 168, Treaty of Lisbon, which obliges the Community to "ensure a high level of human health protection in the definition and implementation of all union policies and activities and to improve public health, preventing you in illness and diseases and to obviate sources of danger to human health".
Related pages about:
Miscellaneous Safety and Health
Safety and Health Asbestos Campaign

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