Asbestos in roof sheeting.

Nanaimo union calls asbestos ban a good first step

NANAIMO – Federal government announces complete ban on asbestos by 2018.

A Nanaimo-based union president is calling the announcement by the Trudeau government to ban asbestos a good first step.The federal government announced Thursday morning that it will completely ban the manufacture, use, import and export of asbestos in Canada by 2018. The federal Liberals also intend to create new federal workplace rules and guidelines on asbestos, updating its online list of asbestos-containing buildings owned or leased by the federal government, and ban the use of asbestos in all construction and renovation projects.Graeme Johnston, B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union president, said the announcement is a good move in the right direction.”It’s a good first step to a long-standing problem,” he said. Johnston had been somewhat skeptical of any kind of ban coming relatively soon and was surprised at the speed of the announcement. However, he said there are still some unanswered questions, including what  a ban means for vessels and products that currently contain asbestos.

“I don’t believe that this will force any employer to remove asbestos from the worksite,” he said. “That raises the question of what happens in the marine industry with all these vessels that do asbestos.” Meanwhile, Ellen Oxman, president of the Canadian Labour Congress’s Nanaimo chapter, was pleased to hear the announcement and said the ban will benefit Canadians.

“It’s absolutely reassuring after a long time and a lot of lobbying and a lot of work on the CLC and other Canadian unions,” she said. “This is going to save lives in the end.”

For years, the labour congress had been pushing hard for a ban on the dangerous mineral. It recently announced a nationwide media campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos. Oxman said her organization is planning to continue with the campaign, adding that asbestos can still be found in plenty of places.

“We do live with asbestos in our homes, schools, workplaces, products that we buy, especially in our cars, that we’re not aware of,” she said.The Canadian Labour Congress estimates that around 2,000 Canadians die every year from diseases caused by asbestos exposure.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch in south Nanaimo

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by police after City of Nanaimo crew found it

RDN Transit to see rollout of 15 new HandyDart buses

Buses will have temporary protective barriers installed to prevent spread of COVID-19

RDN says water in French Creek still potable despite levels of iron, manganese

Strategy to improve water quality being established

United Way distributes $120,000 in federal funding to seniors in need during pandemic

Salvation Army, Eden Gardens, hospice society among groups granted money

Man who used to live in Nanaimo sought by RCMP on the mainland

Ajia Richardson unlawfully at large after failing to return to psychiatric hospital in Coquitlam

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Beefs & Bouquets, May 27

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Nanaimo senior who was excessively speeding says her vehicle shouldn’t have been impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Most Read