NDP MP Sheri Benson has introduced a private member’s bill, C-321, to ban the import, export and manufacturing of asbestos and use the Canadian Environmental Protection Act to protect workers’ health.
“This bill is a crucial first step to finally banning asbestos in Canada,” said PSAC National President Robyn Benson. “Members of Parliament now have an opportunity to stop the epidemic that is killing Canadians by supporting this legislation.”
Asbestos is already the leading cause of workplace-related death in Canada. Yet, Canadian asbestos imports grew from $4.7 million in 2011 to $8.2 million in 2015, putting more and more Canadians at risk.
Ban only the first step
A comprehensive approach to asbestos includes other necessary measures such as:
- a public pan-Canadian registry of cases of asbestos-related diseases and a comprehensive health response to these diseases
- a national registry of buildings used by the public that contain asbestos
- a ban on the use of asbestos-containing materials in all federally-funded infrastructure projects
- harmonized standards for asbestos disposal across the country
- transitional support for businesses, workers and communities affected by a ban on asbestos
PSAC to launch a campaign against asbestos
PSAC will be launching a postcard campaign urging the government to ban all forms of asbestos at its national health and safety conference on November 18.