Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers

Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers

November 04, 2011 10:45 ET

Families of Asbestos Victims Speak Out Against Canadian Exports to Developing World

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 4, 2011) - Families of asbestos victims came together today for a media conference hosted at Toronto's Delta Chelsea Hotel to express their opposition to imminent plans to re-open a Québec asbestos mine. The mine investors are proposing to export asbestos from this mine to the developing world, particularly India.

The families invited the lead investor, Baljit Chadha, to visit Sarnia, Ontario to meet with asbestos disease victims and families. Sarnia has lost hundreds of residents over the past two decades to asbestos cancers. The invitation was also extended by Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley, whose letter to Mr. Chadha was released today. You can read the letter here: http://www.ohcow.on.ca/press_release/mayorbradleyletter.pdf

Mayor Mike Bradley can be reached at 519-332-0330 ext.308 or 519-464-7300 (cell).

Stacy Cattran, whose father Bill Coulbeck, died of asbestos cancer in Sarnia three years ago: "We would like Mr. Chadha to meet us and see first hand the suffering that asbestos has caused to so many Canadians".

Linda Reinstein, co-founder of the US-based Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (http://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org), expressed her alarm at the investment proposal: "My husband Alan died from asbestos cancer, so I know first hand the devastating impact on asbestos victims and their families. I have travelled all over the world meeting families and health and safety experts. They are unanimous in condemning Canada's support of asbestos. Now is the time to end the exports. Governments can support the affected Quebec communities to develop alternative industries."


The Québec government is expected to make a decision within a few weeks whether to extend loan guarantees to the asbestos investors to allow them to re-open the Jeffrey mine.

The World Health Organization estimates that past asbestos exposure is causing over 100,000 deaths annually around the world.

Here in Canada, organizations such as the Canadian Cancer Society and Canadian Labour Congress have called for an end to Canadian asbestos exports.

Contact Information

  • Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)
    Alex Cohen
    416-510-8713 ext.1 or 647-853-0503 (cell)