Kathleen Ruff, RightOnCanada.ca
In a message sent to RightOnCanada on September 28, 2016, a policy adviser to Minister of Health Jane Philpott states: “I don’t have the precise date for a full announcement, but I can say that health and safety of Canadians is a priority for this Government and that we are committed to moving forward with a ban on asbestos in Canada and will announce an updated government strategy in the coming months.”
In a letter to a worker who has recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma, Member of Parliament and Minister for Veterans Affairs, Kent Hehr, also confirms that “the Government of Canada has committed to moving forward on a ban on asbestos. Our government is currently reviewing its strategy on asbestos, including actions that can be taken using a government-wide approach.”
The government has recently updated its Canada-wide asbestos registry which lists Canadian government buildings that are known to contain asbestos.
Officials in Health Canada are consulting with officials in other governments that have already banned asbestos in order to learn from their successes and failures and on measures they have taken to protect populations from asbestos previously placed in buildings and infrastructure.
Issues concerning health, occupational safety, workers compensation, building standards, waste disposal, etc. come under provincial jurisdiction in Canada. It is thus extremely important that, in addition to banning asbestos, the federal government show leadership to initiate, along with the provincial governments, national standards and a national program to protect Canadians from asbestos harm.