Friday, January 23, 2009

A Suggestion For The Upcoming Budget

Looking for stuff to cut, Mr Harper?


The Canadian government is funding censorship and perversion of scientific information, charge a number of health experts in a strongly worded letter sent today to Prime Minister Harper.

The experts, from the Universit√© de Laval and other universities across Canada, ask the Prime Minister to stop funding the Chrysotile Institute (formerly the Asbestos Institute) in his government’s January 27 budget.

“The Institute censors information from the world’s leading health authorities, distorts their views and puts forward nonsensical claims, for example that chrysotile asbestos disappears when it is mixed with cement and becomes harmless,” says Dr Colin Soskolne, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Alberta. “This is not science; this is dangerous nonsense.”

“It is a slur on the reputation of the scientific community and people of Canada for the government to be funding such distortion of scientific information,” says Dr Tim Takaro, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences, SFU. “But, more importantly, this misinformation puts people’s lives at risk. This is completely unethical and must stop.”

“Over the past 25 years, the government has given more than $20 million to support the dying asbestos industry in Quebec. Over 90% of the workers have lost their jobs; the remaining approximately 550 workers have had their wages slashed and work part-time; and in 2007, the asbestos mining company filed for bankruptcy protection,” said Kathleen Ruff, senior human rights advisor to the Rideau Institute. “It is time to stop this wasteful and unethical use of government funds. Instead, the government should help the remaining asbestos workers and the community with just transition assistance.”

Please contact Kathleen Ruff, for a copy of the letter.

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- Dr Colin Soskolne (780) 492-6013;

- Dr Tim Takaro (778) 782-7186;

- Kathleen Ruff (250) 847-1848;

I remember when my dad was posted to base Gagetown in Oromocto, New Brunswick. Myself and a bunch of other kids found these fabric containers of something or other --shaped roughly like small pillows--lying in a field behind the PMQs. We had great fun with them, whacking each other over the head, throwing them back and forth. The next day, I felt a terrible itching sensation. Bits of glass fibre embed in the skin and can't be removed by showering. It lasted for several days without let-up.

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