Workers Health & Safety Centre

Sign on to support asbestos ban consult! Deadline extended to June 9.

Sign on to support asbestos ban consult! Deadline extended to June 9.
There's still time to support labour and environmental groups as they respond to the federal government’s asbestos ban consultation.

The Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) and the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) have been coordinating a response to the federal government’s Consultation on the proposed regulatory approach to prohibit asbestos and products containing asbestos. While the submission deadline was June 4, the two groups will accept additional support from individuals and organizations until June 9. To date, more than 40 organizations and individuals have signed in support.

Last December the federal government announced plans to ban asbestos and to create new or amend existing laws governing asbestos. The proposed changes however will not be fully in effect until 2018 when regulations are in place. It is not known if businesses with inventories of products containing asbestos will be able to stockpile and/or sell products between now and 2018. Canadian imports of asbestos-containing products, including cement pipes and brake pads, grew from $4.7 million in 2011 to $8.2 million in 2015.

Health, safety and environmental advocates are seeking support to ensure the proposed regulations are substantive and take effect sooner. Among their key recommendations:
  • A ban of all substances containing asbestos at any measurable concentration and support for the development of alternatives to asbestos.
  • Federal government leadership, working with provincial and territorial governments, to develop minimum national certification standards for asbestos removal contractors.
  • A comprehensive health response to asbestos diseases, including working with other levels of government on early detection and treatment as well as monitoring the health of workers who are exposed to asbestos.
  • Creation of an expert advisory panel with a tripartite membership from government (all levels), worker and employer representatives, to monitor and evaluate implementation of the ban.

Others have submitted responses including the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress.
Asbestos is the leading cause of recognized work-related death in Canada. More than 150,000 Canadian workers continue to be exposed to asbestos in their workplaces — 50,000 in Ontario.
More than 2,000 Canadians die every year from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases including workers but also family members exposed to the deadly fibre while laundering contaminated clothes or simply exchanging a hug.

Take Action!

To support o support the CELA, CAUT submission, please provide the following:
City, Province:
Contact name:
Email address:

If you wish to include a logo, it will be included on the header of the submission. 

For individuals, please provide the following:
City, Province:
Contact name:
Email address:

Questions? Contact Fe de Leon, Researcher, Canadian Environmental Law Association
416-960-2284 ext 7223 or at

Workers Health & Safety Centre offers a suite of hazard-specific training programs including awareness training on the Hazards of Asbestos. Also check out WHSC’s fact sheet Asbestos: towards zero exposure.
To learn more: 
Call:    1-888-869-7950 and ask to speak with a training services representative
Other related resources:
Occupational Cancer Research Centre--asbestos resources