Sarnia’s Mayor has written Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to urge a national ban on the export of asbestos and the use of the material, which is acknowledged to have caused thousands of deaths since it was first introduced as an insulator decades ago.
Asbestos is notoriously linked to cancer after fibres were inhaled by workers, often inadequately protected from what is now acknowledged to be a substance linked to fatal lung disease.
Mayor Mike Bradley, writing to Trudeau on Wednesday (March 30), urged the Prime Minister “with a sense of urgency” to have Canada ban the use of asbestos, citing the 50 nations who have already done so.
Bradley said in his letter that Canada had already made the commitment leading up to the election that elevated the Liberals, lead by Trudeau, to government.
In 2001, Sarnia was the first city in the country to officially call for a ban on exports and its use in Canadian workplaces, Bradley said in his letter.
The timing of the letter to Trudeau coincides with a push from the Federal Government to spend money on infrastructure as part of an attempt to kickstart the economy.
“The concern is asbestos will show up in the use of building materials and leave a legacy for the future that no community in Canada should ever face as we have in Sarnia,” Bradley wrote.
By formally banning the use of asbestos, the Government can “ensure that the next generation does not have a legacy from this generation that will impat on their health and their lives as asbestos has on this generation and past generations,” Bradley said in the letter.