Canada’s lethal export

The Toronto Star


If Canadians think that exporting asbestos is a marginal, dying business, they ought to think again. Canada ships $100 million worth of chrysotile asbestos a year to developing nations such as India, Indonesia and Vietnam, where it is used to make cheap, fire-resistant roofing, cement, water lines and other products. We are one of the world’s most aggressive exporters.


Moreover, Bernard Coulombe, the president of Jeffrey Mine Inc. in Asbestos, Que., a major producer, contends that "the marketplace is crying for chrysotile" and wants to ramp up production. As Jennifer Wells reports in today’s Star, Coulombe has ambitious plans to draw on 200 million tonnes of known ore reserves. He says Mexico, Venezuela, Pakistan and other countries are eager to buy.

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