Canada - pimping for death

A long, long time ago, in a country far from here when I was young, I used to believe in the bottom... that there were some things so foul that no one would ever do them.

Over time, this idea of a bottom transmuted itself into something more personal - I believed that I could no longer be surprised at just how awful a human could be or what sort of vile things someone might do for a handful of silver.

I thought my naivete was tres passe, and that I was the wiser for that, if a little sad at its passing. It felt like this new inner peace came at the price of any hopes I might have about homo sapiens- that
peace could only be found at the bottom.

Ha ha...no one was more surprised than I when once again the actions of a gang of arrogant, amoral overfed white guys were able to conjure up that sense of vertigo, nausea and mental distress I remembered so well from so long ago.

What I had thought was the bottom was not!


Years of life under the Harper dictatorship have rewired a lot of circuits in my brain, and the brains of many other Canadians.

The idea of a Minister of Science who's a
creationist and doesn't believe in evolution, for example, was just one more part of a larger piece that included the creation of a massive deficit, the desecration of our international reputation, the creation of CopFest in conjunction with the G20 meeting and so on and so on.

In keeping with the Harperian tradition
meet our new Minister of Industry,
Christian Paradis!

according to his official bio:
"Before his election, Christian practised corporate law in Thetford Mines... He has always been active in his community as a member of the Management Club (Amiante Chapter), the Rotary Club of Thetford Mines and the Asbestos Chamber of Commerce and Industry."

As it happens, one of the only remaining asbestos mine in Canada is in Mr. Paradis’ riding.

What were the odds, eh?

Paradis is now Canada's go-to guy promoting asbestos - the leading source of some of the most horrible afflictions that can beset a human being.

Canada - pimping for death.

Why do health authorities around the planet have "issues" with asbestos?

Mesothelioma - a cancer caused only by exposure to asbestos dust. Sufferers tend to die within six to eighteen months following diagnosis.

Lung and other cancers - It is officially recognised that asbestos exposure can cause lung and other cancers, including cancer of the larynx and at other sites in the body, e.g. the gut,
colon, rectum and in the ovaries.

How bad is it?

Bad enough to have its own disease named after it!

Asbestosis is a form of pneumoconiosis, a general term for a type of damage done to the interior of the lung by inhaled dust. There is no cure.

...and it's bad enough to be totally banned in many places around the world, like the UK!

suck it up

from the BBC site:

- White, blue and brown asbestos are all potentially dangerous and have all been banned in the UK.

- There's no known safe level of asbestos exposure.

- Anyone who's exposed to asbestos may develop an asbestos-related illness. Particularly at risk are those involved in the building and demolition industry, the manufacture of asbestos products and asbestos spraying.

Asbestos fibres are also carried on clothing, so the families of those working with asbestos and those involved in the laundering of an asbestos worker's clothing may be at risk.


Mr. Paradis and his people prefer to use the the name "Chrysotile", but as Aasif Mandvi sums it up in his report for the Jon Stewart Show, it's just another word for “slow, hacking death.”

Some might think that President Harper and his rent boy Paradis are peddling death on the installment plan to India and other parts of the world.

Some might even take issue with the fact that Canada is going to be going against the grain on yet another international treaty aimed a making this a healthier place. There's a concise update on all this in the Globe and Mail today.

Some, of course, might feel differently - if you're interested in learning about 'the other side' of the asbestos discussion, you might start at the Chrysotile Institute.


Looking back I can see that it was vain and prideful of me to think I had found 'the bottom', and I no longer believe that... clearly, things can get worse and the Harper government will be all over that one in the years to come.

I guess the upside is knowing that if I can still be sickened and ashamed by what these thugs do in our name, somewhere there are still some shards of hope in human decency... but today, it feels like very cold comfort.


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