Canada must ban asbestos


I have heard from too many Canadians who have been affected by asbestos.

This post is dedicated to Tasha Hong, her brother, Chad Ptasinski, and her mother Connie Ptasinski, who recently lost a dedicated father and husband.

On September 23, 2016, Chester Ptasinski tragically lost his battle with mesothelioma. As a teacher of 30 years, the Ptasinski family was shocked to learn of Chester’s diagnosis a short time earlier, which was attributed to his brief exposure to asbestos when he worked in construction and in the steel industry as a young man.

I would also like to dedicate this post to Howard Willems, who inspired our province to create a registry to inform workers whether or not asbestos is present in the buildings they work in. Howard was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2010 and shortly thereafter tragically lost his battle with this horrible disease.

Both of these men were healthy, strong individuals at the time of their diagnosis. Now, both of these men have been taken from their families.

We must not forget Chester and Howard as we move forward as a country. Their stories are tragic, but they are, unfortunately, all too familiar to Canadian families.  

We must ensure that all workers in Canada are protected with a national occupational disease and accident registry, coupled with an absolute ban on this extremely harmful and toxic substance.

I stand with Canadian workers who deserve to know the risks in their workplaces, and who have the right to be protected from harmful and toxic substances.