CFUW Launches Campaign to Ban the Mining, Use and Export of Asbestos

At the Canadian Federation University Women’s 2010 AGM we adopted a policy resolution calling on the Government of Canada to ban the mining, use and export of chrysotile asbestos. Despite several attempts on the part of CFUW National, and many leading health associations, the Government of Canada has not yet been persuaded to ban asbestos. With more information available about the dangers of chrysotile asbestos we need to expand our efforts by placing pressure on individual Members of Parliament belonging to the governing party (i.e Conservatives) and the Bloc Quebecois. Members of the NDP, Liberals and Green Party have already demonstrated that they support instituting a ban, as was evidenced on November 1, 2012,  with a 152-123 vote on a motion to ban the use and export of asbestos.

Members of Parliament respond to contact from their constituents. We encourage Presidents of CFUW Clubs across Canada to contact their MPs by  letter, email, telephone, personal visit or social media to enlist their support. Individuals can contact their MPs without speaking for CFUW, and invite their friends to do so as well. Contact information for MPs can be found at Click on ‘Members of Parliament’ and enter ‘members by postal code’ as a search.

Below are a number of resources you can use to inform yourself, your club, your community and your MP about why Canada must ban asbestos now:

1 thought on “CFUW Launches Campaign to Ban the Mining, Use and Export of Asbestos

  1. Leah Nielsen

    We, the co-founders of “A Walk to Remember Victims of Asbestos”, call for a public inquiry into Canadian asbestos deaths (please see press release attached and below).

    Similar to the Krever Commission in 1995-97 that looked into the tainted blood scandal, there is a desperate need for a public inquiry into the thousands of deaths in Canada caused by asbestos after evidence of its deadly nature was long known by asbestos industry officials. Each of these deaths was preventable. Each of these affected families continues to be victimized by government support of the asbestos industry. Attached is a picture of Leah’s family with our father, one month after his diagnosis with mesothelioma (terminal lung cancer caused by asbestos) and just one month before he died.

    In connection with our call for a public inquiry, we are announcing that on September 29th, 2012, we will be holding a second Walk to Remember Victims of Asbestos in Sarnia, Ontario (see press release for details). Clips of the Walk were featured in CBC’s The National documentary Fatal Deception starting around the 16 minute mark.

    We hope that your organization can cover this important issue which has affected tens of thousands of Canadian families across the country and millions around the world.

    Leah Nielsen 435-258-0119

    Stacy Cattran 519-341-3642

    (Co-founders of A Walk to Remember Victims of Asbestos and Co-founders of Canadian Voices of Asbestos Victims)

    A Walk to Remember Victims of Asbestos 2012
    We call for a public inquiry into the purposeful misinformation campaign and industry cover-ups that have led to the deaths of thousands of Canadians from asbestos.

    WHY: Four years ago sisters Leah Nielsen and Stacy Cattran watched their electrician father die an agonizing death from mesothelioma, a terminal lung cancer caused only by asbestos due to his exposure decades earlier. They learned that as early as the 1880s asbestos was found to be dangerous and in the 1930s asbestos industry officials in Canada knew the deadly consequences of their product. Thousands of people would still be alive today if an organized campaign of misinformation, junk science, and cover-ups had not been allowed to convince Canadians that asbestos was safe. We call for a public inquiry into the tens of thousands of Canadian asbestos deaths, many of which have not even been properly tracked. Asbestos is Canada’s #1 occupational killer and these deaths are completely preventable. Future generations will not have to suffer if asbestos is removed and banned. Instead legal use of asbestos continues in cement and is even legal in children’s toys, deserted open pit asbestos mines have teens driving ATVs through them kicking up asbestos fibres, and thousands of tons of asbestos are shipped to the developing world where workers are not warned of its deadly nature. In Italy, asbestos magnates were recently sentenced to 16 years in prison and ordered to pay millions of dollars in fines. In Canada, asbestos magnates are given millions of dollars in funding by the government.

    WHAT: On September 29th, please join Leah Nielsen and Stacy Cattran in Sarnia to honour loved ones lost to asbestos and demand an end to Canadian asbestos production, a ban on asbestos use, and justice for those who have died.

    WHO: Everyone welcome; no registration required. Those who have lost a loved one to asbestos, or have a loved one currently fighting asbestos related disease, are asked to bring a copy of a picture of the victim with name and age that can be pinned to a memorial.

    WHEN: Saturday, September 29th, 2012, at 11 am

    WHERE: Dow People Place, Centennial Park, Sarnia, Ontario. Following twenty-five minutes of speeches, we will walk along Front Street to the flags at London Road, curve back along the waterfront, and end at the Victims of Chemical Valley Memorial.


    Media contact:

    Stacy Cattran— 519-341-3642 (Guelph, Ontario) Stacy will also be in attendance at the National Day of Mourning ceremony on April 28th, at Centennial Park in Sarnia and will be available for comment afterwards.

    Leah Nielsen— 435-258-0119 (Lewiston, Utah)

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    Dad_pic_Nielsens.JPG Dad_pic_Nielsens.JPG
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