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Impatience Growing Over Canada’s Slow Move To Ban Asbestos

Red stamp with text Warning Asbestos,vector illustrationOver the past several months, our blog has been monitoring the ongoing news story about our federal government’s commitment to implement a nationwide ban on asbestos. The longer it takes for the ban to take effect, however, the more that there is doubt that such a ban will ever commence. It is well documented that asbestos has been the cause of death for many hard-working Canadians.

So could possibly be the hold up for a nationwide ban? In several of our blogs, we’ve noted the number of cases and high costs for medical care caused by the hazardous material. The Chronicle Journal calls the delay “shameful” and pointed out that more than 55 other countries across the world have already implemented asbestos bans. For some reason, Canada is yet to join the list of countries that recognize asbestos for what it is: a deadly, toxic material.

“The roots of our dangerous obstinacy are political,” reports The Chronicle Journal, “Successive prime ministers have defended the deadly mineral in the hopes of winning votes in rural Quebec, where asbestos mining was an important industry for more than a century. Only last summer, three years after the last of Quebec’s mines shut down amid dwindling demand, did Ottawa finally acknowledge that ‘asbestos, if inhaled, can cause cancer and other diseases.’”

Even still, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not yet called for a nationwide ban, even though he announced, months ago, that Canada was “moving to ban asbestos” because “its impact on workers far outweighs any benefits that it might provide.” This came as welcome news to both health advocates and victims of asbestos-related diseases alike. Today, however, there are doubts that the ban is coming.

Just how much damage is asbestos causing Canadians? “A recent study found that in 2011 alone, nearly 2,100 Canadian workers were diagnosed with asbestos-related cancers,” reveals The Chronicle Journal, “It pegged the financial cost of such illnesses at $1.7 billion per year. One would hope that statistics like these would add some urgency to the government’s review.”

A nationwide ban may not be in effect yet, but people throughout Canada are practically implementing bans of their own. Earlier this week, Ricardo Veneza reported on BlackburnNews.com that the County of Essex, in Southern Ontario, is completely backing the call to ban asbestos in Canada. “Council approved a resolution that will see the county pressure the federal government to bring in a complete ban of the cancer-causing substance in Canada,” he writes.

Brian Hogan is the President of the Windsor and District Labour Council. “I think if enough councils, enough citizens push (Prime Minister Justin Trudeau) that things will happen,” he is quoted as saying, “(It is) beyond tragic when you have so many citizens that have died — I’ve lost relatives — and you’re perpetuating it, that’s pure ignorance…Fifty-six countries now (have banned asbestos) so we’re not on the ground floor.”

It’s no secret that DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. also firmly supports a nationwide ban on asbestos. Understanding how hazardous it is to the health of Canadians, we are highly committed to offering our Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) Services that include asbestos testing procedures. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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