Review: And No One Went To Jail

Buried in a film vault at the federal archives is a Canadian Paramount newsreel circa 1952 shown in movie theatres nationwide. Cue marching music then title board: “World’s Largest Asbestos Mill!" The camera pans across an industrial complex six city blocks long as the announcer shouts, “The new plant will process more than a third of the free world’s supply of the magic mineral!” It was a ribbon cutting at Johns Manville Co.’s Jeffery Mine in Asbestos, Que. The premier and archbishop showed up. Coroners had known since 1906 asbestos dust was fatal. The fact was not mentioned. UBC Press has published the true story never shown in theatres. A Town Called Asbestos documents a lethal product produced and sold with the blessing of regulators and lawmakers alike. “The people of Asbestos should not have had to choose between their jobs and their health but that is just what many had to do,” writes author Jessica van Horssen. READ MORE

Bid You Happy Canada Day

Blacklock's pauses for the Canada Day observance to wish all friends and subscribers a happy First of July.  We're back tomorrow  -- The Editor READ MORE

“Values” Kit Warns Children On Old Flag & Conservatives

Cabinet yesterday approved a taxpayer-funded booklet for schoolchildren that calls the Red Ensign flag a hate symbol and identifies the Conservative Party by name as a target of “infiltration” by racists. It also warns children to beware of classmates who speak in favour of Donald Trump: "It represents the next stage of our work to fight and win against hate." READ MORE

CBC Show ‘Clearly Offensive’

A CBC radio show was so offensive it breached the Broadcasting Act, federal regulators ruled yesterday. The decision came over a French-language program that repeatedly used the n-word: "The host and the commentator used the n-word four times, three times in French and one in English, in a segment of six minutes and 27 seconds." READ MORE

Drivers To Pay Billions More

Canadian drivers will pay billions more for gas and diesel under new climate change regulations to be detailed Saturday. “The regulations may increase fuel prices” in addition to the current 12¢ a litre carbon tax on gasoline, said the Department of Environment: "Certainly there are additional costs." READ MORE

Food Labels Delayed Again

The Department of Health is granting the food industry another four years to comply with new warning labels intended to cut Canadians’ consumption of sugar, salt and fat. Regulations to be finalized tomorrow and originally scheduled to take effect in 2022 will cost industry a half billion, by official estimate: "Costs to industry are anticipated to be significant." READ MORE

MPs Propose Fertilizer Aid

Cabinet should subsidize Canadian fertilizer producers to counter the impact of collapsing farm exports from Ukraine, the Commons agriculture committee said yesterday. Extraordinary measures are needed “given the urgency and severity of what we are collectively facing,” wrote MPs. READ MORE

Guest Commentary

Arch MacKenzie

Canada’s Worst MP

There were personalities in those days and reporters were close to them. The Press Gallery today is huge by comparison to what it used to be. We had about 75 members. It was on better terms with politicians. I don’t think publishers who ran the newspapers expected to see blood on the floor. Anti-Semitism was not uncommon. They would not put a Jewish minister in cabinet. The worst MP I ever saw? People couldn’t understand how he kept getting elected. He was a kook, just out of control, and a blatherskite. He became a figure of fun in the Press Gallery because of the silly things he did, but with a dark, racist tone.