Canada's international image has been in tatters for a while, thanks to the oil sands and the exporting of asbestos. Now we can scratch one embarrassment off the list; the last asbestos mine in Canada has gone bankrupt. They are hoping to restart; the Globe and Mail reports:
“I’m convinced we can relaunch the mine. We’re going to push for a plan of action, talk to all the players,” said a determined Simon Dupéré, president of LAB Chrysotile, which announced Wednesday it had to declare bankruptcy after a halt in production last October led to mounting fixed costs with no revenue to offset them.
Perhaps this time the mine might stay closed, notwithstanding the federal government's continuing support of the industry. The Globe and Mail notes that the industry is in decline around the world:
Worldwide production of asbestos is slipping, having fallen 5 per cent to just below two million tonnes in 2010 compared to a year earlier, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Russia accounts for about half that volume, followed by China at about 18 per cent and Brazil with 14 per cent. Sales of asbestos are also falling worldwide, as more developed countries express concerns about health impacts.
Even Jon Stewart has taken on the Canadian asbestos industry. No wonder all the kids have taken the flags off their backpacks. (Canadians can watch the video here)
More in the Globe and Mail; see past coverage on asbestos in the Related column to the left.