Canadian government will announce ban on asbestos before December 20, 2016

Fri, Dec 9, 2016


Kathleen Ruff,

Speaking to the Sarnia Observer, Veronique Perron, a spokesperson for federal Science Minister Kirsty Duncan stated that the Canadian government is committed to moving forward on banning asbestos and will be making an announcement regarding government action to enact the ban before the current session of Parliament ends on December 20, 2016.

The government’s action on a ban will be grounded in science and evidence-based decision making, stated Perron.

The Science Minister has been appointed as the lead Minister of the asbestos issue and is working with other Ministers, including the Minister of Health, the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Labour.

It is expected that a decision to ban asbestos may be announced as soon as next week.

Prime Minister Trudeau stated in May 2016 that his government was moving forward on an asbestos ban. The government has been consulting with experts in the Australian government on their experience in banning asbestos and in protecting citizens from asbestos already in place in buildings and the environment.

Pressure from civil society organisations and the trade union movement has been growing for the government to take action.

On November 16, 2016, Saskatoon New Democratic Party (NDP)  MP Sherri Benson tabled a private member’s bill to ban asbestos in honour and memory of Howard Willems, a federal government food inspector in Saskatchewan who, even while dying of mesothelioma contracted through his work, tried to get the previous Canadian government to ban asbestos.

The international asbestos lobby organisation, still operating out of Quebec, has attacked this private member’s bill to ban asbestos as “a textbook case of narrow-minded politicking fuelled by ill-thought activism.”

Two Quebec Conservative MPs from the asbestos region also attacked the bill. It is not known whether the Conservative Party, now the Opposition Party, will continue to support asbestos, as they have for past decades, and oppose action by the federal government to ban asbestos.

Whether they do so or not, they cannot block a ban on asbestos as the Trudeau government has a majority in the House of Commons and the NDP Party will support a ban, having been the first political party in the House of Commons to call for a ban on asbestos.


2 Responses to “Canadian government will announce ban on asbestos before December 20, 2016”

  1. Juan Gomez Lopez Says:

    These are outstanding news. Bravo for Trudeau. Now please let’s try to remove the lobbying and exporting of asbestos to Mexico…

  2. Elisabeth Humphreys Says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Kathleen Ruff and the Rideau Institute for speaking up for human beings harmed unknowingly by pollutants such as asbestos (as an excellent example of all the harmful effects that toxic chemicals have on our environment). Thank you for being a clarion bell ringing out in the darkness challenging the opportunity that exists to live together in a better world, with greater consciousness and healthy ethical corporate behavior.

    Thank you for tirelessly bringing forth the concept of stewardship over the hideous greed, deception and the false sense of ownership that characterizes so much of corporate behavior bent on a hideous depopulation agenda. Thank you for bringing hope towards ushering in the day when these unconscious souls (part of the 1%) come to their senses, halt their legacies of evil and find inspiration to take the higher road. Right On Canada! Thank you for setting a good president for us in the USA and in other countries around the world!

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