Canada ban on asbestos takes effect but mining residues are exempt

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna plans to announce the new regulations implementing the ban on Thursday in Ottawa

Canada’s ban on the import, sale and use of asbestos will not prevent companies in Quebec from sifting through the waste left over from decades of mining asbestos to look for magnesium.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna plans to announce the new regulations implementing the ban on Thursday in Ottawa, but cabinet gave the nod of approval to them at the end of September.

Kathleen Ruff, an expert on asbestos, says it is disappointing Ottawa is allowing an exemption from the ban for mining residues because those tailings contain as much as 40 per cent asbestos fibres which are known to cause cancer and other lung diseases.

At least one company is working on a project to extract magnesium from the absestos tailings largely for use in car parts and pressure moulds.

Canada agreed to ban asbestos in 2016, after years of pressure from health experts and former workers and their families, but Canada continued to argue it was safe if used with proper precautions.

In 2016, at least 510 Canadians died of mesothelioma, an asbestos-linked lung cancer, but that number doesn’t include deaths in Quebec, which stopped reporting its asbestos-related disease rates in 2010.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Curtis Sagmoen
Public warning issued to North Okanagan sex trade workers

RCMP warns workers to stay away from Salmon River Road area

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP are looking for 27-year old Roy Albert Andrew after he failed to appear in court Oct. 15, 2020. He is considered violent. (RCMP)
Vernon police looking for wanted man

Roy Albert Andrew is considered to be violent, police say

The Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP located a hidden compartment in a vehicle, leading to a significant drug seizure, police said in a media release Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (RCMP photo)
Vernon Mounties find illicit drugs in hidden vehicle compartment

Police seized 4 kg of methamphetamine from a Jeep involved in a violent hit and run March 24

Vernon Fire Rescue Service firefighters watch on as heavy machinery demolishes a two-storey home built in 1901 after it was destroyed in Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star)
UPDATE: Vernon house destroyed in blaze comes down

Highway traffic is moving again as lanes reopen after morning fire

Vernon Fire Rescue Services is continuing fuel management efforts to reduce the risk of serious wildfire in the wildland urban interface (WUI) across Vernon. (City of Vernon/Contributed)
Work underway to reduce risk of wildfires in Vernon

Fire crews will be clearing wildland fuels along Eastside Road over the next month

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Pigs from a nearby farm were seen at the door of the Salmon Arm Winners and in the Walmart parking lot on the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (Christine Laycock VanderKroft/Facebook)
Pigs trot over for a visit at Salmon Arm shopping centre

Employees say this was the second drop-in from the temporarily free-range porkers

Penticton law courts. (Black Press file)
Osoyoos man in court for alleged shooting

The Oct. 11 shooting left a man with non-life threatening injuries

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Princeton man on motor scooter refuses to provide breath test to police

The scooter did not have a license plate and was not insured

Charlotte Smith, one of organizers of the second annual North Shuswap witches fundraising paddle prepares to set off on her stand up paddle board. (Sue Stilling photo)
Witches float for a good cause in the North Shuswap

Costumed paddlers turned heads on the north arm of Shuswap Lake while raising money for charity

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

In this file photo, snow is seen falling along the Coquihalla Highway. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Weather statement issued for Coquihalla, Hwy 3, as arctic front approaches

The early season snowfall expected to hit Fraser Valley, Friday, Oct. 23

Most Read