‘The miracle is in the original asbestos fibre’


Randy Boswell digs into the history of asbestos mining in Quebec and finds Jack Layton’s father.

The late Robert Layton, a Quebec MP in the 1980s who served as federal mines minister in Brian Mulroney’s Progressive Conservative government, played a high-profile role in championing Canada’s asbestos industry at a time when the world had just come to recognize the serious health risks posed by handling the fibrous, fire-resistant mineral. Robert Layton, in fact, was probably best known during his two-year term as Mulroney’s mines minister for promoting asbestos as a “good product” in the face of growing international opposition to the mining and export of the cancer-causing material.


‘The miracle is in the original asbestos fibre’

  1. I’m going to have to take this opportunity to restate my view that the Big Bang Theory needs to die a quick, painful death.  It’s hands down the worst prime-time comedy that’s lasted for more than one season; and much worse than some that didn’t get renewed.

    The writing is atrocious, the laugh track annoying, and the acting (despite the tall guy getting some award) infuriatingly awful.

    • Finally, something I can unambiguously say I believe about The Big Bang Theory: it is not the worst prime-time comedy to last more than one season.

      I’m half a Big Bang Theory defender (I like it better than some of the comedies that will get nominated, and its second season still holds up very well) and half a basher (since I never thought it got to be much more than an enjoyable show, never a great one). But awful, no.

    • It is definitely the worst comedy ever. Terrible writing, overused jokes, obnoxious laugh track used for just about every single line (if there wasn’t a laugh track the show’s running time would be cut by 8 minutes), and just pathetic writing. It was okay in the first 2 seasons, then it just nosedived in quality after that. If that piece of garbage gets an Emmy this year then the voting panel has lost literally all credibility.

      Community deserves to clean up at the Emmy’s this year, it is without a doubt the best comedy on television since Arrested Development (which got 6 Emmy awards by the way). After being snubbed completely last year (not even a nomination for Modern Warfare/paintball? what a joke) they truly deserve to win it big this time.

      • The usual pedantry from me, but it does not have a laugh track, it has an audience, which merely means that unlike a show that tells us when to laugh (e.g. the music and editing cues that Community or Arrested Development use to order us to laugh) it puts the jokes in front of real people and finds out if they get laughs. Not that that means the show is good, obviously, but the sound of an enthusiastic audience is hardly a point against a show.

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