CBC reports that "Opposition MPs slammed the Harper government Thursday over Canada's opposition to putting chrysotile asbestos on an international list of hazardous chemicals."
It goes on to say that a spokesman for the UN's environment program stated that "David Sproule, the head of Canada's delegation, told participants that «Canada is not in a position to agree to the listing of chrysotile asbestos … at this conference of the parties»".
If accurate, then Sproule's remark is obviously a lie. By having the capacity to vote, Canada is in a position to agree. It has simply chosen not to.
The decision is repugnant, and typically illustrative of the Steven Harper government's lack of moral compass.
I just had a strange encounter with some Vancouver Police on my way in to work this morning.
I was riding my bike north on Kingsway, in the right-most lane. Just north of 12th, while I was riding on the dashed the margin between parked cars and the right-most lane, the car behind behind me slowed to give me an opportunity to change lanes. I signalled left, and safely made it into the left lane. I continued north, across Broadway, then stopped in with the queue of traffic waiting to turn left onto 7th.
At this point two Vancouver Police officers, riding motorcycles two abreast, pulled up to the right of me (in the through lane). I heard someone shouting "Hello! Hello!", and realized they were trying to get my attention. Looking over, one officer then shouted: "You're not a car. You have to stay as far right as possible. If you're making a turn, you have to do it within the block."
I only had time to respond with "Oh, yeah…?" and a baffled half-grin before the light changed and they peeled off ahead down Main. I continued on my way.
This exchange bothered me for several reasons.
- I don't believe I was doing anything illegal or unsafe. In fact, I was doing my best to integrate with traffic, as I always do; my movements were well-signed, obvious, and in keeping with regular traffic flow.
- I believe that these officers were themselves breaking the law by riding two abreast in one lane of traffic.
- If I were committing an infraction, I would have expected (and appreciated) lights or sirens and a proper traffic stop. Instead, the odd casual nature of this exchange seemed bizarre.
I shall do some research into the road regulations to see if I can validate the officer's advice. However I am skeptical that his admonishment, at least in this situation, amounted to little more than personal opinion – which seems rather unprofessional for the police.