April 12, 2016
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau:
RE: Request for a ban on asbestos
Like many people, I didn’t know what Mesothelioma was or even how to pronounce it until it affected my family in the most unimaginable way. On behalf of my Dad, who is fighting daily to survive and find some peace, I would like to encourage you to ban asbestos and save other innocent lives. I am aware of a major push the general public, government organizations, unions, activist groups, media and people like my family are making to encourage your government to be a leader and change the course in what is now, an embarrassing and horrible legacy our nation will endure for many years to come. In almost every way possibly I am a very proud Canadian but I find it difficult to be proud when I consider how we have let back room dealings and small minded people have such an effect on the lives of our nations citizens and others around the world. For so many years we have been risking the public’s wellbeing in order to keep an industry so fraught with safety hazards operating despite the shift in policy from nearly all of the respected nations in the world.
Many of us are working on how to help those already affected by Mesothelioma and other diseases but there is nothing we can do to prevent it from happening until there is a ban. As a member of the Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation we are educating the public, supplying information to those already diagnosed and helping to connect the medical community across Canada but we want this to be the final generation of Canadians that have to deal with an ever increasing number of people affected by Asbestos each year.
Since my Dad was diagnosed with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma in December 2013 our family has faced unimaginable difficulty in watching the strongest man I’ve ever known become stripped of his life as he knew it. He underwent an Extrapleural Pneumonectomy (removal of his lung, lining around the heart and part of his diaphragm), which is an extremely invasive procedure in which he barely survived coming out of an induced coma for 8 weeks, having lost all strength in his body right down to having the ability to swallow. After over two years of rehabilitation in which he has been through countless complications he is still fighting for quality of life. His fight is noble and for me the most difficult thing I’ve ever witnessed. At the same time it is unimaginably, completely unnecessary. This is why I write to you today. This disease is completely preventable. You, Right Honorable Justin Trudeau, are in a unique situation of having the ability to be the leader that brought Canada out of the dark and legislate the outright ban of Asbestos.
Clearly this is not a partisan issue. We are looking for the entire government’s support which would make a strong statement for the rest of Canada. I have attached a letter from a victim of Mesothelioma that recently contacted our organization looking for guidance and support. It’s powerful and brings back a flood of the frustration we initially faced when my Dad was first diagnosed. Now is the time to finally do the right thing. We can right the wrongs of our past and prevent these innocent people from again and again asking why? Please help.
Director; Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation