Category Archives: 2016 Canada

Canada: Unions renew call for asbestos ban in Canada

HomeFor this 28th April, Canadian unions are renewing their call for a comprehensive ban on asbestos, announcing today they will highlight the issue at events across the country, in the context of the National Day of Mourning for workers killed, injured or made ill on the job.

“Asbestos is the leading cause of work-related death in Canada, and with imports on the rise, the danger is increasing,” CLC president Hassan Yussuff said at a news conference in Ottawa yesterday.

More than 2,000 Canadians die every year from diseases caused by asbestos exposure, like mesothelioma and lung cancer. Death from mesothelioma increased 60 percent between 2000 and 2012. Internationally, the World Health Organization reports more than 100,000 asbestos-related deaths per year.

More information on CLC activities for April 28th here:

Canada: CUPE calls for full asbestos ban

On April 28, the Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job, CUPE is renewing its call for a comprehensive ban on asbestos in Canada—the number one cause of occupational death in Canada.

It’s estimated that asbestos-related diseases kill more than 2,000 people ever year in Canada. Many Canadians, including CUPE members, go to work every day in hospitals, schools, and other buildings that contain the deadly substance. Despite these facts, Canada continues to import asbestos in products like brake pads and cement pipes. In fact, just last year before losing power the Harper government actually made it easier to import products containing asbestos.

“The Harper government showed a repeated disregard for the health and safety of Canadians. This Liberal government now has an opportunity to show that they do care—that the lives of countless workers across Canada matter to them,” said CUPE National President Mark Hancock. “It’s time to catch up with the rest of the world. On April 28, we’re calling on the Trudeau government to ban the import, export and use of asbestos in Canada.”

The federal government recently announced that they have banned the use of asbestos in the construction or renovation of federal buildings, but Hancock says if they’re serious, the government must go further.

“We’re happy to see progress on this issue, but unless they ban it completely, banning it in federal buildings alone just creates a sad double-standard,” said Hancock. “Banning asbestos isn’t hard! Fifty-six countries around the world have done it. All workers deserve this basic protection.”

Beyond failing to impose a domestic ban, Canada has long been one of a small handful of countries that opposed adding chrysotile asbestos to the hazardous chemical list covered by the United Nations Rotterdam Convention. Including asbestos in the convention would help protect workers both here in Canada and abroad by making it more difficult to import and export the deadly product.

Take action:

Attachments Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau

Canada: CUPE events in Alberta


Every day, workers around the world are injured and killed while trying to earn a living. In Alberta, workplace deaths number in the hundreds per year.

On April 28th we pause to remember those injured and killed while working, and re-commit to improving conditions so further deaths will not occur.

The last year has sadly seen its share of workplace deaths and injuries. However, there is some good news. Alberta has joined other provinces in Canada in protecting agricultural workers under labour and health and safety laws. In the first three months of 2016, WCB Alberta has approved 159 applications for compensation from farmworkers – applications that would have been denied last year.

There is still much more to be done. Workplace deaths are preventable. Please keep working to make our jobs safer.

Click here to find out about April 28 events in your area.

Canada: Widows of the workers video

The video below is called ‘Widows of the Workers: These Chemicals are Going to Kill Me’:

It is part of the ‘Giving Voices to Widows of Asbestos’ project. The General Electric plant they are referring to is in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. The initiative is being supported by the union SEIU Canada.

The following video link is an overview of the project by the union researcher Natasha Luckhardt. Gofundme

Listing for Ontario, Canada 28 April events

The Workers’ Health and Safety Centre  WHSC has published  a comprehensive listing of all of the Ontarian 28 April events.


Canada: Day of Mourning – honour and remember lives lost

Across Canada, April 28 has been designated the Day of Mourning.

Every year workers, families, employers, and others come together at ceremonies held around the province to remember those who have lost their lives to work-related incidents or occupational disease, and re–new our commitment to creating safe workplaces.

More information, a listing of Canada BC activities, posters, decals, speakers and other resources can be found here.