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As you know, the United States and Canada, along with other developed economies, have experienced a terrible epidemic of asbestos disease.  Currently, over 10,000 Americans and 1,000 Canadians die annually from asbestos-caused diseases such as, asbestosis, cancer, and mesothelioma (a rare cancer of the lung lining).  

On Thursday, December 8, 2011, American and Canadian asbestos victims and families (see media release at http://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org/archives/8493), exposed occupationally or environmentally, have come together by issuing a North American Declaration.  The Declaration calls for Prime Minister Stephen Harper for Canada, and President Barack Obama for the United States to end the support for asbestos mining, use and exports and for the development of safe alternatives.  

A decision from the Quebec government is expected soon on a loan guarantee which would allow investor Baljit Chadha and his partners to reopen the Jeffrey asbestos mine and export asbestos developing countries in Asia.  

On November 24, 2011, it was announced that mining of asbestos in Quebec was suspended temporarily.   With broad support for the Declaration, we hope that asbestos mining, its use in consumer products and exports of asbestos will be stopped permanently in Canada.

We are encouraging asbestos victims, family members, concerned individuals, unions, organizations and institutes to step forward and express your support, by endorsing the North American Declaration.  It’s vital to do this as soon as you can, so that we can maximize influence on the Quebec and federal government’s decision making.   

To endorse the Declaration, go to the following links:
1)      as an individual - http://bit.ly/vgtBeX
2)      organizations, institutions, labor, and NGOs supporters  - http://bit.ly/u13Igz

Background resources:
Press Release by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and the Canadian Voices of Asbestos Victims (EN & FR): http://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org/archives/8493
North American Declaration (EN & FR): http://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org/archives/8523
      
 
WHEN YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION ENDORSE THE NORTH AMERICAN DECLARATION, PLEASE ALSO CONSIDER SENDING A LETTER TO:
1)      Prime Minister STEPHEN Harper (Stephen.Harper@parl.gc.ca); and
2)      Premier Jean Charest of Quebec (http://www.premier-ministre.gouv.qc.ca/premier-ministre/joindre-pm/courriel-en.asp).  

Please send a copy of your letters to your Member of Parliament and to the Canadian Voices of Asbestos Victims (e-mail address needed).

All organizations and individuals who have endorsed the Declaration will be listed when it is formally delivered to Prime Minister Harper and President Obama in February 2012.

For more information, please contact:
Alec Farquhar, Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (tel.: 416-510-8713; email: AFarquhar@ohcow.on.ca)

Stacy Cattran, Canadian Voices of Asbestos Victims  (email: scattran@gmail.com)
Fe de Leon. Canadian Environmental Law Association (Tel.: 416-960-2284 ext 223; email: deleonf@cela.ca)
Sarah Miller, Canadian Environmental Law Association (Tel.: 416-960-2284 ext 213; email: millers@lao.on.ca)

North American Declaration
Petition: http://bit.ly/vgtBeX
Press Release: http://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org/archives/8493
North American Declaration for the elimination of asbestos - related diseases
 
Whereas asbestos is a known human carcinogen and has been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a Group 1 human carcinogen;  
Whereas asbestos is deemed toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and the US Toxic Substances Control Act;
Whereas inhalation of airborne asbestos fibers of all types can cause cancer such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other health problems;
Whereas no safe minimum level of exposure has been identified for any type of asbestos;
Whereas asbestos-related diseases can take 10 to 50 years to present themselves;
Whereas the usual expected survival time for those diagnosed with mesothelioma is between 6 and 24 months;
Whereas the World Health Organization estimates that 125 million people in the world are exposed to asbestos at the workplace and
              107,000 workers die annually from asbestos exposure;
Whereas these deaths involve enormous human suffering, especially in the case of mesothelioma, made worse because little is known about late stage treatment of these diseases;
Whereas many victims suffering from asbestos related diseases have never received compensation and millions are spent on compensation claims for others;
Whereas workers’ family and community members are also at risk of disease from asbestos fibers brought into their homes or otherwise released into the environment;
Whereas asbestos remains a serious hazard in North America where it was used extensively for insulation and as a fire retardant in the construction of many office buildings and public facilities such as schools and hospitals built up until the 1990s;
Whereas an estimated 35 million American homes and businesses are insulated with asbestos-tainted vermiculite;
Whereas the United States and Canada have not prohibited the use of asbestos in the production of domestic products;
Whereas Canada continues to allow the production and export of asbestos;
Whereasin 2010 the United States imported 90% of its chrysotile asbestos from Canada;
Whereas in 2010 Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Brazil, and Canada were the biggest asbestos producers and exporters in the world;
Whereas the majority of asbestos is exported to developing countries, which may not have the legislative or policy framework in place to practice safe use, handling and disposal of asbestos;
Acknowledging thatfive of the six known forms of asbestos with the exception of chrysotile asbestos are listed in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade;
Acknowledging that the Rotterdam Convention provides mechanisms for Parties to exchange information on toxic substances and seek prior informed consent from importing states before exports of toxic substances are permitted;
Whereas in 2011, there was still a lack of agreement by a handful of countries, including Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Viet Nam and Canada, to add chrysotile asbestos to Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention and whereas this failure will deprive workers and consumers in importing states, particularly for developing countries of information on health and safety protections and on proper handling for others who use products containing asbestos; and
Whereas the Province of Quebec in Canada has imminent plans to reopen and expand their asbestos mining operations.
 
 
Therefore be it urgently resolved, that Prime Minister Stephen Harper for Canada and President Barack Obama for the United States, immediately endorse a plan of action for North America for the elimination and prevention of asbestos-related diseases by:
• stopping the North American production and use of all types of asbestos;
• ending the North American export of asbestos to the developing world;
• replacing asbestos use with safe substitutes;
• developing economic and technological mechanisms to stimulate the swift  replacement of asbestos and its use in products throughout North America and the developing world;
• supporting asbestos producing communities and workers in just transition to sustainable alternative industries;
• taking measures to prevent exposure to asbestos still in place and during asbestos removal and disposal;
• supporting and improving early diagnosis, treatment, social and medical rehabilitation of asbestos victims;
• establishing North American registries of exposure locations and of people with past and/or current exposures to asbestos; and
• calling upon United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN to promote a global declaration embracing these same goals.

To arrange for an interview, please contact:
Fe de Leon, 416-960-2284 ext. 223
 
On-line:
Support the petition as an organization or an individual by visiting: http://bit.ly/vgtBeX (individuals) and http://bit.ly/u13Igz (organizations)
 
About the Canadian Environmental Law Association:  CELA is a non-profit, public interest organization established in 1970 to use existing laws to protect the environment and to advocate environmental law reforms. It is also a free legal advisory clinic for the public, and will act at hearings and in courts on behalf of citizens or citizens’ groups who are otherwise unable to afford legal assistance.  CELA is funded by Legal Aid Ontario.


--
Fe de Leon,
Researcher,
Canadian Environmental Law Association,
130 Spadina Ave., Ste. 301,
Toronto, ON   M5V 2L4
Tel.: 416-960-2284 ext. 223,
Fax: 416-960-9392,
E-mail: deleonf@cela.ca

Visit our web sites:
on CELA at www.cela.ca

on our Resource Library at www.ecolawinfo.org

on Pollution at www.PollutionWatch.org

on Source Water Protection at www.thewaterhole.ca

on Canadian Partnership for Children's Health and Environment at
www.healthyenvironmentforkids.ca

Publié dans Appels à l'action

Join the Boreal Forest Network, the Boreal Action Project and the Winnipeg Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement in calling for a complete boycott of all Weyerhaeuser forest products until the company ceases all logging and sourcing in the contested traditional territories of Grassy Narrows First Nation, or as long as there is community opposition to those operations.

Sign the petition at:

http://borealforestnetwork.com/boycott-weyerhaueser-petition


The following notice has been served to Weyerhaeuser Canada/U.S. and the Province of Ontario:

Stop Logging in the Traditional Territory of Grassy Narrows First Nation


Take notice that until such time as you cease all logging and sourcing in these contested territories, or as long as there is community opposition to your operation in Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinaabek traditional territory (Grassy Narrows First Nation) we will be calling for a complete boycott of all Weyerhaeuser products.

According to the Whiskey Jack Forest Management Plan, 324,000 cubic meters of poplar and birch is allocated from the Whiskey Jack Forest Management Unit each year to supply the Weyerhaeuser Timberstrand/Trus Joist Kenora mill. This is 42 percent of the total allocated timber harvest from the Whiskey Jack and a full 50 percent of the wood supply for the mill.

Your withdrawal from this territory will be a significant step in preserving what remains of the intact forest which is crucial to the Anishinaabe way of life, estimated to be only 30 percent of what it was before mismanagement by logging companies.

As you know, The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently released a lengthy decision in Keewatin v. Minister of Natural Resources (Keewatin), which held that the Province of Ontario lacked authority to “take up” lands for forestry, or other activities that may significantly infringe upon First Nations’ hunting and fishing rights, with respect to certain lands under Treaty 3 (the Keewatin Lands). This supports the position of Grassy community members who have been engaged in the longest standing blockade in Canada, at Slant Lake near their reserve, since 2002, when they stood in front of logging trucks to protect their traditional lands from further logging.

Grassy Narrows is trying to rebuild an economy and way of life that have been devastated by decades of severe environmental contamination and destruction. The people of Grassy Narrows have already made it clear that multinational logging companies like Weyerhaeuser are incompatible with their vision for the preservation and use of their territory.

A recent unfavourable independent audit contains a staggering 21 recommendations to address material “non-conformances to a law and/or policy” and “a significant lack of effectiveness in forest management activities.” The report concludes that, “forest sustainability...will not be achieved unless corrective measures are immediately taken.” This independent audit of logging in the, 964,000 hectare, Whiskey Jack Forest, from 2004-2009, clearly indicates that the forest has been mismanaged and is in decline.

We call on you to join forest products companies; Boise, Abitibowater, Domtar and Ainsworth, who have already agreed not to source conflict wood from Grassy Narrows territory.

We maintain that it is not only unsupportable, but unethical for Weyerhaeuser to resume sourcing from the Whiskey Jack, for the Kenora, Ontario, mill, that makes Weyerhaeuser iLevel Trus Joist Timberstrand Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL), or any other forest products.

Publié dans Appels à l'action

Usage des terres publiques contraire aux souhaits de la population


Ce mois-ci, le gouvernement provincial va décider s’il va poursuivre les plans d’utilisation et de conservation des terres publiques de l’ancien gouvernement.  Le plan prévu réduisait la superficie de forêt gérée spécifiquement pour conserver les aires d’hivernage des chevreuils, les vieux peuplements et les zones tampons le long des cours d’eau.


Si l’on se fonde sur ce que nous avons appris du MRN, cela signifierait des réductions atteignant autant jusqu’à 25 % (un quart) de certains de ces habitats.  Et en même temps, la superficie des plantations sur les terres publiques serait presque triplée, à 28 %.


L’Honorable Bruce Northup des Richesses naturelles a annoncé qu’il examinerait à nouveau l’ancien plan, et qu’il annoncerait un nouveau plan forestier en février.


Les Néobrunswickois ont déjà rejeté ce plan


Dès 2004, la majorité de la population a exprimé au comité spécial sur l’approvisionnement en bois qu’elle ne voulait pas que les habitats des poissons et de la faune soient sacrifiés pour accroitre l’approvisionnement en bois.  Le comité spécial avait rejeté les demandes des entreprises et placé un plafond aux zones de conservation, et il avait recommandé plutôt que la superficie des coupes à blanc soit réduite.


En 2007, une enquête auprès de la population du Nouveau-Brunswick a démontré qu’une majorité écrasante des résidents accordait la priorité la plus élevée à la protection par les forêts des eaux potables, de l’atmosphère et des habitats de la faune (Opinions du public sur la gestion des forêts au Nouveau-Brunswick : rapport d’une enquête provinciale).


À la fois les audiences du comité spécial et l’enquête auprès des Néobrunswickois ont démontré que les citoyens et les citoyennes s’attendent que leur gouvernement se tienne debout pour ce que la population désire et qu’il travaille avec la forêt naturelle que nous avons.


La population a aussi exprimé qu’elle voudrait avoir plus de pouvoir sur la façon de gérer ses forêts.  Le gouvernement n’a toujours pas mis en place une réelle stratégie de consultation de la population qui impliquerait le public dans la gestion des forêts publiques.


Est-ce que cette fois le gouvernement nous écoutera?  Nous pensons que oui.


Nous croyons qu’il existe une véritable ouverture qui permettrait encore une fois aux Néobrunswickois de parler au nom des forêts.  Nous avons un nouveau gouvernement et le ministre a dit qu’il souhaitait entendre encore les environnementalistes et les Premières nations.

  • -Veuillez donc écrire une lettre pour dire au gouvernement ce qui vous importe dans nos forêts et ce que vous voulez que le gouvernement     fasse.   
  • -Faites parvenir votre lettre à Bruce Northrup, ministre des Ressources naturelles, C. P. 6000, Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1, et faites en une   copie pour votre député.  Nous pouvons vous fournir une liste des députés si vous n’êtes pas certain de son adresse.
  • - Préparez une courte version de votre lettre et faites-la parvenir au rédacteur de votre journal local, ou à celui d’un autre quotidien.

D’autres informations détaillées peuvent être trouvées aux sites Web suivants : www.acadianforest.ca; www.cpawsnb.org.

Préparé par le comité directeur du Réseau des terres de la Couronne composé de représentants des organisations suivantes (CCNB Action, Société pour la nature et les parcs du Canada – section NB, Meduxnekeag River Society, Nature NB, Citoyens pour la protection des forêts du NB)

Publié dans Appels à l'action
** English follows**
Bonjour à tous, 
 
Comme certain d'entre vous le savent, la compagnie Castle Resourses est en train de décider s'ils vont continuer le processus d'évaluation environnementale ou encore retirer leur projet de mine d'or à ciel ouvert à Dauversière, dans le Nord-Est du Nouveau-Brunswick. 
 
On reçoit de bonnes nouvelles, comme quoi la compagnie songe sérieusement à retirer son projet (voir par exemple http://www.radio-canada.ca/regions/atlantique/2012/01/10/001-incertitude-mine-dauversiere-nouveau-brunswick.shtml). On veut cependant s'assurer que le projet n'aille pas de l'avant, et c'est pourquoi nous lançons une campagne d'envoie de courriels à Castle Resources.
 
C'est simple et facile! Vous n'avez qu'à cliquer sur le lien ci-dessous:
http://www.soselmtree.org/ac.html, à entrer votre adresse courriel, et à mettre votre nom et adresse à la fin de la lettre. Un exemple de lettre vous est fourni, mais vous pouvez l'éditer pour y inclure un message plus personnel si vous le voulez.  
 
Si vous voulez plus d'information sur le projet, vous pouvez aussi parcourir le site www.soselmtree.org
 
N'hésitez pas à partager avec votre famille, vos amis, vos voisins, etc.!


*********
 
Hi all, 
 
As  some of you may know, Castle Resources will decide shortly if they follow with the environmental assesment process or if they withdraw their open pit gold mine projet in Dauversière, in northern New-Brunswick.
 
We've been getting good news, stating that the company is seriously considering to withdraw their project (see for example, *only in French* http://www.radio-canada.ca/regions/atlantique/2012/01/10/001-incertitude-mine-dauversiere-nouveau-brunswick.shtml). We, however, want to make sure they don't go forward with the project, which is why we are starting a campaign of email-sending to Castle Resources. 
 
It's simple and easy! Just click on this link http://www.soselmtree.org/home.html, enter your email adress, and add your name and adress at the bottom of the letter! An example of a letter is provided, and you can edit it if you wish to send a more personal message.
 
If you need more information on the project, you can browse the www.soselmtree.org website.
 
Don't hesitate to share this with your family, friends, neighbours, etc.!
Publié dans Appels à l'action