Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Harper flips (? flops ?) on asbestos

            In a surprise move, Christian Paradis, Minister of industry, announced that the federal government will no longer oppose asbestos being listed as a hazardous substance under the Rotterdam Convention. Such inclusion would effectively restrict exportation and limit revenues. Minister Paradis explicitly linked his government's decision to September 4, 2012 election of Parti Québécois chief, Pauline Marois. The mercantile / populist logic couldn't have been laid more clearly open! 
            In effect, Madame Marois has promised to cut a provincial loan required to open the Jefferey Mine. Up until now the Harper government could pretend to "defend Canadian jobs" by opposing the listing of asbestos on the Rotterdam list of hazardous (and controlled) substances. In reality, Harper lacks a base in Québec, so any opportunity to make a populist show of solidarity with Monsieur / Madame Toutlemonde is welcome. So what if third world workers in India, etc get lung cancer from the exported asbestos? The Market is God, after all (a Moloch man has created to enslave himself..)

             But now, with the election of the PQ, the plug has been pulled on the asbestos industry. No government start up loan for the Jefferey Mine, no asbestos industry. Simple as that. Time then to switch to Plan B..

              Plan B: Marois and her PQ are going to kill the asbestos industry anyway, so why not opportunistically pick up a few freebie votes from disaffected Liberals or left-leaning Tories with social consciousnesses? Otherwise, Harper and his gang wouldn't have given a s--t about Indian workers' lung cancers..

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