Transport Canada hopes to launch a no-fly list, officially known as Passenger Protect, as early as this spring. The stated objective is to guard against terrorist threats. A senior Transport Canada official told a Parliamentary Committee yesterday that individuals will not be told why they are on the list — only that they are on it. And, of course, they won’t be permitted to board the plane. Appeals will be permitted, but without knowing why one is on the list, it would be difficult to know how one could appeal. (The list will be compiled by the same spooks from CSIS and the RCMP who fingered Maher Arar. Hmmmm.)
Meanwhile, Health Canada has consolidated regulations regarding asbestos use; permitted uses include children’s toys and drywall joint cement. In case you missed it, asbestos is a highly toxic mineral; exposure can cause asbestosis, and malignant mesothelioma. It has been linked to autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
Is there a pattern here? Is this a case of government “protecting” us against low risk threats (terrorist evildoers) while facilitating high risk threats (lung cancer, etc.) perpetrated by corporate evil doers.
According to Mining Watch,
“There has been a worldwide movement to ban both the mining and the use of white asbestos. France banned the use of white asbestos completely in 1997. The UK banned any new use of white asbestos in 1999. Further, by 2005 all EU nations must implement a prohibition on white asbestos. However, despite piles of reports showing the dangers of white asbestos, Canada continues to mine it and export it worldwide.”
Canada’s New Government provides $250,000 annually to the Chrysotile Institute (the mouthpiece for Canada’s asbestos industry), uses Canadian embassies to host asbestos promotion events and sends teams of lawyers around the world to oppose international efforts that might restrict the use of asbestos. (So did Canada’s Old Government!!)
Maybe it is time to rename Health Canada. Disease Canada? Death Canada? Any suggestions would be welcome. Alternatively, we could put Canada’s New Government on a no-fly list.