The asbestos national ban was a particularly significant victory for Canada’s building trades, and of course the Insulators, who work on the front lines helping to protect society from the harms of this deadly substance and often put themselves, their families and loved ones in harm’s way.
The Insulators led the charge for the asbestos ban. They are also holding the government accountable to ensure they follow through on their promise – and part of following through is addressing the legacy left behind in our buildings and our workers. Canada’s Insulators are focused on supporting a national strategy for dealing with the legacy of asbestos, starting with a National Patient Registry for Mesothelioma – the very rare type of cancer whose victims can almost always trace their disease back to asbestos exposure.
Working closely with Canada’s Building Trades Union (CBTU), the Insulators are advocating for the patient registry as part of completing the work begun under the asbestos ban. In July, International Vice President Paul Faulkner and Local 95 Government and Community Relations Director Adam Melnick, joined forces with CBTU Executive Director Arlene Dunn and Dr. Alec Farquhar, from Asbestos Free Canada, in a pivotal meeting with the office of the Minister of Labour to discuss this proposal. This meeting was the culmination of considerable lobbying over many months, including the submission of a detailed briefing notes prepared in collaboration with the Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation.