First question for Minister Paradis — this one from the Greens

Newly minted Public Works and Government Services Christian Paradis is from Thetford Mines, Quebec, sometimes known as the asbestos capital of the world.

That's about the all the Green Party needed to know to be first off the mark with this tough question for the new minister:

Christian Paradis’ appointment raises new concerns over asbestos in public buildings, Greens

OTTAWA – The Green Party is expressing concern today over the appointment of Christian Paradis to the Public Works portfolio.

Mr. Paradis has made comments supporting asbestos use and has previously served as President of the Asbestos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Secretary of the Asbestos Chapter of the Management Club of Canada.

“Mr. Paradis’ history of supporting ‘safe use’ of chrysotile asbestos is very worrying,” said Green Party leader Elizabeth May. “Many Canadians are not aware that asbestos is still legal and in use in Canada, even though ‘safe use’ of asbestos is like drinking anti-freeze safely – neither is possible. The Green Party is concerned that Mr. Paradis’ appointment may mean increased asbestos content in the construction of public buildings. Will Mr. Paradis commit to eliminating all asbestos in public projects or will he increase asbestos content in new construction?

“The Green Party has long called for an asbestos ban in Canada, safe removal of asbestos from existing buildings and an end to mining and export with a just transition strategy for workers. The federal government’s continued subsidization of the asbestos industry and funding for industry associations is a disgrace.”

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