Mr. Speaker, we have learned in the newspapers of the decision made by the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe to completely ban asbestos.
Last week, as Canadian parliamentarians from the Liberal Party, the Conservative Party, the Bloc Quebecois and both Houses of Parliament, as well as observers at this interparliamentary assembly, we ran into a wall of misunderstanding and faced total rejection of the Canadian position, which is the same as the one held by the Russians.
Instead of a comprehensive ban on asbestos regardless of type or use, the Canadian position is based on the following consensus: asbestos may be a hazardous product, but its use can be controlled by putting workers' and public health first.
This consensus is shared by all levels of government, industry and labour in Canada. Unfortunately, the vast majority of parliamentarians in the Council of Europe have remained insensitive to any argument that might have softened their position.
It is therefore important that the Canadian consensus be put forth again before the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which will make a final decision on this recommendation.