Media Release - Stop funding dangerous nonsense, health experts tell Harper



    OTTAWA, Jan. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian government is funding
censorship and perversion of scientific information, charge a number of health
experts in a strongly worded letter sent today to Prime Minister Harper.
    The experts, from the Université de Laval and other universities across
Canada, ask the Prime Minister to stop funding the Chrysotile Institute
(formerly the Asbestos Institute) in his government's January 27 budget.
    "The Institute censors information from the world's leading health
authorities, distorts their views and puts forward nonsensical claims, for
example that chrysotile asbestos disappears when it is mixed with cement and
becomes harmless," says Dr Colin Soskolne, Professor of Epidemiology at the
University of Alberta. "This is not science; this is dangerous nonsense."
    "It is a slur on the reputation of the scientific community and people of
Canada for the government to be funding such distortion of scientific
information," says Dr Tim Takaro, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health
Sciences, SFU. "But, more importantly, this misinformation puts people's lives
at risk. This is completely unethical and must stop."
    "Over the past 25 years, the government has given more than $20 million
to support the dying asbestos industry in Quebec. Over 90% of the workers have
lost their jobs; the remaining approximately 550 workers have had their wages
slashed and work part-time; and in 2007, the asbestos mining company filed for
bankruptcy protection," said Kathleen Ruff, senior human rights advisor to the
Rideau Institute. "It is time to stop this wasteful and unethical use of
government funds. Instead, the government should help the remaining asbestos
workers and the community with just transition assistance."

    Please contact Kathleen Ruff, kruff@bulkley.net for a copy of the letter.




For further information:

For further information: Dr Colin Soskolne, (780) 492-6013,
Colin.Soskolne@ualberta.ca; Dr Tim Takaro, (778) 782-7186, ttakaro@sfu.ca;
Kathleen Ruff, (250) 847-1848, kruff@bulkley.net

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Rideau Institute on International Affairs

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