Federal asbestos inventory a good first step
The CLC is commending the federal government for today’s launch of an online inventory of Canadian government buildings containing asbestos. Canadian unions have been calling for this type of registry for over a decade.
“It’s a great first step towards a comprehensive ban. Provinces and municipalities should follow the federal government’s lead and include their own public buildings in the online inventory,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff.
“This is about both workers and public safety given that these buildings are publicly accessible. What we need now is for the government to move forward with legislation outlining a comprehensive ban on the use, import, and export of asbestos,” he added.
That would include:
- Creating an expert panel to advise Parliament on implementation;
- National registries of both contaminated buildings and cases of asbestos-related diseases;
- A comprehensive health response to asbestos diseases;
- Banning the use of asbestos-containing materials in federally-funded infrastructure projects;
- Harmonizing regulatory standards for asbestos disposal;
- Making sure Canada’s Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS 2015) requires that all asbestos-containing products are accompanied by lifesaving material Safety Data Sheets that warn workers of the presence of asbestos; and
- Advocating for the addition of chrysotile asbestos to the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) list of hazardous materials under the Rotterdam Convention.