More Tories uneasy with gov’t position on asbestos

Quoted from http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Politics/20111120/more-tories-uneasy-with-government-position-on-asbestos-111120/

More Tories uneasy with gov’t position on asbestos

The Canadian Press

Date: Sunday Nov. 20, 2011 9:05 PM ET

A growing number of Conservative MPs are questioning their government’s position on the export of asbestos, with a group of them independently summoning industry experts to a meeting on Parliament Hill last week.

Solid caucus discipline has been one of Stephen Harper’s political achievements over six years in power. While open revolt over asbestos hasn’t erupted, clear faultlines over government resistance to having the substance listed as hazardous internationally suggest the prime minister may be forced to deal with a rare case of internal dissent.

The first public cracks in the Conservative party line came on Nov. 1, when five Tory MPs broke ranks and abstained from an NDP vote that would have banned asbestos exports.

That was followed last Monday with a private Parliament Hill meeting that saw about a dozen Conservative parliamentarians ask some pointed questions of the Chrysotile Institute and industry scientists over several hours.

British Columbia MP Mark Warawa, who has expressed his concerns about asbestos in the past, organized the meeting. He said in an interview that he is simply looking for more facts.

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