Society Disappointed Federal Government Voted Against Asbestos Motion

06 December 2012

Toronto -

The Canadian Cancer Society is deeply disappointed and frustrated that a motion to protect Canadians from asbestos was defeated in the House of Commons on December 5.

Conservative and Bloc Quebecois Members of Parliament voted against an NDP motion (M-381), introduced by François Lapointe, calling for:

  1. the creation of a federal registry of buildings containing asbestos;
  2. the inclusion of asbestos on the Rotterdam Convention list of hazardous substances; and,
  3. an economic diversification plan for regions that still depend on the asbestos industry.

“All forms of asbestos cause cancer and the Society is very concerned about Canada’s lack of leadership on this important health issue,” says Paul Lapierre, Vice President, Public Affairs and Cancer Control, Canadian Cancer Society. “It’s imperative that the health of Canadians and people around the world be put first.”

Worldwide about 107,000 people die every year from disease related to occupational exposure to asbestos.

The Society has been actively lobbying the federal government for several years to protect Canadians and people around the world from asbestos and we will continue to work hard to end exposure to asbestos.In particular we will maintain pressure on the federal government to fulfill its promise to no longer oppose the inclusion of chrysotile asbestos on the Rotterdam Convention’s list of hazardous substances when the vote takes place in Spring 2013.

The Canadian Cancer Society believes that all efforts must be made to eliminate exposure to asbestos and to eliminate asbestos-related diseases. The Society is urging the federal government to adopt a comprehensive strategy to address all aspect of the asbestos issue, including:

  • immediately setting a clear timetable for phasing out the use and export of asbestos;
  • implementing a national surveillance system to track health outcomes of people who have been exposed to asbestos;
  • creating a public registry of buildings that contain asbestos;
  • providing transition support for affected communities;
  • including chrysotile on the Rotterdam Convention’s list of hazardous products (called the “Prior Informed Consent” list.)


The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is the only national charity that supports Canadians with all cancers in communities across the country. No other organization does what we do; we are the voice for Canadians who care about cancer. We fund groundbreaking research, provide a support system for all those affected by cancer and advocate to governments for important social change.

Help us make a difference. Call 1-888-939-3333 or visit today.

For more information, please contact:

Christine Harminc

Senior Manager, Communications & Media Relations

Canadian Cancer Society

Phone: 416 934-5340