“We have a story that should be heard by those in power. My husband acquired Mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure. We worked hard all our lives and we were looking forward to retirement. Now all we can do is try to live out this nightmare life we are left with. I cannot put the past two years on paper for you to know how this product has destroyed our whole family and the expense we have had to absorb and will be dealing with for the rest of our lives. My husband is suffering daily and has virtually no quality of life. Please stop allowing this country to produce and use a product that affects everyone it comes in contact with.” – Gayle Cassidy
On December 6, 2016, a letter co-authored by CELA and CAUT and signed by many different organizations was also sent to the Prime Minister. This letter again calls on the Canadian government to ban asbestos and makes suggestions on possible ways to address the consequences of such a ban.
In August 2016, the Ban Asbestos Canada network sent another letter to the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. In this letter, we re-iterated our belief that an asbestos plan was not only in the best interests of all Canadians, but that a comprehensive approach was required to ensure that removing asbestos from our buildings would not be done in a manner which would create more problems.
In March 2016, the Ban Asbestos Canada network sent a letter package to the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. There are ongoing discussions in regards to asbestos, and the BAC network wanted to ensure that we sent on our message – asbestos is deadly and we need to stop using it as well as all import/export activities. You can read the letter we sent, as well as the organizations and individuals supporting the letter and a ban on asbestos, some heartfelt comments that we’ve received and our petition signatures and comments.
What Others Are Doing
Other groups are calling on the Canadian government to ban. This year 2016, the Canadian Labour Congress has made the call to ban asbestos the major focus for Day of Mourning celebrations. You can find a copy of their letter in English or en français, or follow this link to their website.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees sent this letter to the Prime Minister highlighting the particular problems of landfill workers, the impact to the public and urging the Canadian Government to ban asbestos.
Chris Buckley, the President of the Ontario Federation of Labour sent a letter to the Science Minister calling for a ban and the establishment of an expert panel.
Mike Bradley, the Mayor of Sarnia, sent a letter highlighting the terrible impact that asbestos use has had on the community of Sarnia.
Canadian Environmental Law Association submitted the following letter in support of the letter submitted by the Ban Asbestos Canada network urging for a comprehensive ban on asbestos.
LiUNA 1059 which operates a training center where one can learn how to do asbestos remediation is also calling for a ban.
David Hill, a person living with mesothelioma, sent an open letter to all the members of Parliament. In it, he describes his exposure to asbestos while he was serving with the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve. You can read his touching story here.
The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario sent a letter to MP Kirsty Duncan and one to MP Mary Ann Mihychuk mirroring the action plan set out by the Ban Asbestos Canada network in light of the problems of aging Ontario schools.
Michaela Keyserlingk sent this letter on behalf of the Canadian Voices of Asbestos Victims to share the plight of her husband.
What you can do
Often, the question on how to change things that we don’t agree with comes down to this problem: “What can I, as a single individual, do?”
There are many ways that you can contribute to the cause. You’re doing it right now. You’re getting informed. That’s the first step – having the right information. Then you have to do something about it.
- talk about it with your family, your friends and your coworkers,
- sign a petition,
- join a coalition like ours by contacting us
- Contact your MP, your local riding association and/or your Party of choice.
The laws are made by politicians. Often, laws are made and passed because decision makers know that we, as Canadians, residents of a particular province, territory or city, care about a particular issue. If we can make local decision makers across Canada understand that we ALL want asbestos to be banned, then we’re getting somewhere. That starts with you, as an individual, communicating with your local MP, riding association or your Party office. We also have put together a letter that you can download and use. (We really want to make it easy.)
Action Already Taken by Ban Asbestos Canada
During the Canadian Federal Elections 2015, the Ban Asbestos Canada network sent letter packages to each of the party leaders; Stephen Harper, Tom Mulcair, Justin Trudeau and Elizabeth May. The package included their individual letters as well as a copy of the petition text with the list of signatories and their comments, and a list of individuals and organizations that had called for a ban of asbestos in Canada as of October 5th, 2015. You can read the responses of Tom Mulcair and Elizabeth May (just click on their names to see their response).
You can lend support to the cause to ban asbestos in Canada by sending this letter to your MP, to your party riding association and/or to your Party’s central office. You can also sign a petition to call for a Canadian ban on asbestos.
This letter outlines a plan that would support workers, communities and the general public and move towards the eradication of asbestos-related diseases. We’re asking for the development of a registry of public buildings that are known to contain asbestos, much like what was developed in Saskatchewan (view the Saskatchewan Asbestos Registry).