OTTAWA, Ontario (Jan. 23, 2017) — The Canadian government will ban the "manufacture, use, import and export" of asbestos-containing products — including brake pads — by 2018.
That makes Rick Jamieson, president and CEO of Guelph, Ontario-based brake pad manufacturer ABS Friction Inc., a happy man as the decision comes hard on the heels of his recent ABS Asbestos Offensive campaign to ban the importa-tion of asbestos-laced brake pads.
"This news was most heartening to us," Mr. Jamieson said. "While the ban is long overdue, we are thankful it is finally going to happen. We have twice seen 'ban asbestos' private-member bills reach second reading, only to stall for one reason or another."
The ban of the cancer-causing material comes after lengthy campaigns not only by ABS Friction but others including Unifor, the country's largest private-sector union representing Canadian autoworkers, and the Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC).
Although asbestos mining ended in Canada in 2011, import and export of asbestos was allowed, despite bans by 58 other countries such as Australia,Japan, Sweden and Britain. The Canadian government announced the ban in December in a statement issued jointly by Ministries of Science; Health; Environment and Climate Change; and Public Services and Procurement.
"For years, Unifor has been fighting for this ban as a first step, and while we've stopped future use, the government must continue to work to address the damage that has already been done," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.