All forms of asbestos are harmful and deadly to workers and communities and that is why CUPE has a long tradition of calling for a full ban on the mining, production and export of asbestos. We have also demanded a respectful transition programme for workers in the asbestos industry and affected communities.
The World Health Organization (WHO), the International Labour Organization, the Canadian Cancer Society and other respected organizations have called for a ban on all forms of asbestos as well.
However, the Canadian government still exports asbestos and pushes the falsehoods of the asbestos industry, saying that chrysotile asbestos can somehow be safely handled. Medical experts and knowledgeable organizations, such as the WHO, disagree. And as the government knows full well, safety protections are usually non-existent in developing countries.
Quebec, home to most of Canada’s asbestos mines, has one of the highest rates of mesothelioma (a deadly cancer caused by asbestos) in the world. Yet the Canadian government refuses to even keep track of the growing numbers of Canadian workers who are sick and dying from asbestos-caused cancer.
Please tell Prime Minister Harper to ban asbestos now. Let’s put people ahead of asbestos profits.