News archive

A big thank you to our 2021 sponsors

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The CMF couldn't hold its main annual in-person fundraiser or hold a conference again this year because of the continued pandemic.  A big heartfelt thank you to our sponsors without whom we couldn't provide the support for mesothelioma patients and their families, research on diagnosis, treatments, and a cure.


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Atherton logo



                                                 Motley Rice logo







                                            MPHCA                MasterinsulatorsProvBldg       Leader Plumbing logo


EESfinancial         SEIU        BC Bldg Trades logo


Summa Strategies

International Union of Operating Engineers Local 793

Oviatt Law

Hotel & Restaurant Workers, Local 779 (Nfld & Labrador)








Thank you to Mayor John Tory for proclaiming the City of Toronto's recognition of International Mesothelioma Awareness Day, September 26

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September 26, is International Mesothelioma Awareness Day.  Recognized around the world, as well as in the hometown of the Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation's founders in Toronto, Ontario.  For the first time, His Honour Mayor John Tory has proclaimed the City of Toronto recognizes International Mesothelioma Awareness Day.  Please see the attached City of Toronto Proclamation.

Mesothelioma is a cancer almost exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos.

The Mission for Meso fundraising campaign ended on International Mesothelioma Awareness Day, September 26th but donations are always needed and welcome.  See donation button above.

British Columbia employer fined $710,488.79 for asbestos violations

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On Friday, September 16th, CBC Vancouver reported that WorkSafeBC has issued a fine of $710,488.79 for asbestos violations at a work site in Kimberly, BC. The fine, which is the highest administrative penalty that WorkSafeBC has ever handed out, was levied against GFL Environmental because it failed to provide workers with personal protective equipment while they were conducting asbestos abatement work on a commercial building that had been damaged by fire and was believed to be cross contaminated with asbestos-containing materials. During a post-demolition inspection, WorkSafeBC inspectors witnessed "one of the firm's workers inside the containment area, loading debris into disposal bins with an excavator. The worker was not wearing personal protective equipment ... and exited the excavator, still within the containment area, without PPE." In a written statement, WorkSafeBC said "the firm failed to provide its workers with the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure their health and safety". All of the violations were high risk violations.

To read the CBC article: WorkSafeBC fines waste management company $710K for asbestos violations


Employer fined for knowingly exposing workers to asbestos

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Asbestos Hazard Warning“More than half of all work-related fatalities are from occupational diseases, of which the majority are from exposure to asbestos. We cannot, and will not, tolerate employers endangering the lives of workers. There are profound consequences for this kind of egregious disregard for worker health and safety."

   – Al Johnson, Head of Prevention Services, WorkSafeBC

In November 2021, a contractor in B.C. was charged with offences under the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation for knowingly exposing between 13 and 15 workers to asbestos-containing material (some of whom worked for a third-party contractor). At a hearing in BC Provincial Court in March 2022, the contractor pleaded guilty and was fined $20K, plus a victim surcharge. In addition, he was prohibited from owning or operating a waste transfer facility or any other business that involves the management, handling, or disposal of asbestos-containing material for three years. Crown counsel submitted that the contractor had committed the offences in order to avoid the cost and responsibility of cleaning up an asbestos-contaminated worksite. Click here to read what WorkSafeBC says about this case.

Although banned in Canada in 2018, asbestos is still very much a part of the built environment and is found in more than 3,000 common building materials. As noted on WorkSafeBC's website, these include vinyl and linoleum flooring, stucco, loose-blown insulation, roof felt shingles, gypsum board filling compound, incandescent light fixture backings, and deck under-sheeting, among others. For that reason, it is really important that before renovating or demolishing a home or any structure built before 1990, all asbestos-containing materials be first identified by a qualified asbestos testing company or surveyor and then be safely removed by a qualified asbestos abatement contractor. WorkSafeBC's asbestos resources and information can be found here.

In March 2022, the BC Government amended Part 2 (Occupational Health and Safety) of the Workers Compensation Act to require that asbestos abatement contractors be licensed to operate in British Columbia, and that workers and employers who perform this work must complete mandatory safety training and certification.

Promising treatment for mesothelioma

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There is some good news about a treatment for mesothelioma that is showing promise.  The University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto profiles Marc de Perrot and John Cho's Science Translational Medicine paper highlighting the potential of triple combination therapy (immunotherapy, radiation and surgery) to improve outcomes for people living with mesothelioma.  This was posted on UHN's website on April 15, 2021.

Link to UHN website: UHN media release

See attached media release in PDF format

New CMF Professorship in Mesothelioma Research

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The CMF is very proud to announce that we now have a new Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation Professorship in Mesothelioma Research at University Health Network (UHN). This new professorship will help support mesothelioma research and may encourage medical students to pursue further medical training and research in this area.

To mark this momentous achievement, the UHN held a virtual celebration on April15, 2021 honouring the Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation and Dr. de Perrot in the new Professorship made possible with your donations and support.

You are invited to view the celebration at your convenience:  Link to livestream:


What new Ontario-led research says about mesothelioma

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Dr. Paul Demers (a member of the CMF's Scientific Advisory Committee), Alec Farquar and Lee Loftus (members of the CMF Board of Directors) are quoted in an article entitled "What new Ontario-led research says about mesothelioma". To read the full article, which was published in TVO on October 22, 2020:

A summary of the research study "Mesothelioma: Epidemiology and Prognosis" (which compared cases in British Columbia and Ontario over a 25-year period, from 1993 to 2017) is expected to be posted on the Occupational Cancer Research Centre's website by the end of October 2020.

Cancer and COVID-19 webinar series

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The Canadian Cancer Society has created a webinar series on COVID-19 and cancer to offer support and information to people with cancer and their caregivers, family and friends. Each webinar is presented by an expert speaker and addresses a central question about managing cancer needs during this time of COVID-19. Topics include:

  • Cancer and COVID-19: Exercise for people with cancer and their families during COVID-19 (Length: 48 minutes)
  • End-of-life and palliative care in the time of COVID-19 (Length: 17 minutes)
  • COVID-19 and cancer treatment (Length: 45 minutes)
  • Cancer and COVID-19: Staying safe (Length: 21 minutes)
  • Coping with cancer and COVID-19 (Length: 25 minutes)
  • COVID-19 and cancer patients (Length: 13 minutes)

For more information and to watch a webinar:

Motley Rice LLC, Atherton Law Firm, International Assoc. of Heat & Frost Insulators & Allied Workers, Miskin Law, MPHCA, Insulators Local 95, The Linda Frum & Howard Sokolowski Charitable Foundation, BC Building Trades Council and EES Financial Ltd.!

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Motley Rice LLC stepped up with a very generous donation.  We are tremendously grateful for their continued, kindhearted support during these challenging times.


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   Atherton Law Firm has very generously donated once again to the CMF. We are very grateful for Atherton Law Firm’s unwavering, continued support.


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Thank you to our friends in the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators  and Allied Workers for their very generous support both financial and moral!



Miskin Law has stepped up once again with a very generous donation to fund the support we provide to those affected by mesothelioma.  We are very grateful for Miskin Law's continuing support!


 MPHCA logo A big thank you goes to the Metropolitan Plumbing & Health Contractors Association for their generous support!

And thank you to the Insulators Local 95 for their generous donation and whose support we value tremendously and can always count on! 

Thank you to the BC and Yukon Building and Construction Trades Council!

Thank you to The Linda Frum and Howard Sokolowski Charitable Foundation and EES Financial Ltd. for their continued support!

These donations will help us continue to support those affected by mesothelioma. The pandemic has prevented the Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation from holding our usual fundraising events.  This has had a devastating affect on our fundraising efforts. Please consider helping us continue our work. Donate now.  We can't do it without you!  


Johnson & Johnson to End Talc-Based Baby Powder Sales in North America

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"The company has faced thousands of lawsuits from cancer patients who claim that its talc was contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen, and that the company knew of the risks."

    - By Tiffany Hsu and in the New York Times, May 19th, 2020

In a developing story, the New York Times is reporting that Johnson & Johnson announced today (May 19, 2020) that it is discontinuing North American sales of baby powder made with talc. According to the article, Johnson & Johnson "would wind down sales over the next few months, allowing existing bottles to be sold by retailers until they run out. Baby powder made with cornstarch will remain available, and talc-based baby powder will continue to be sold in other parts of the world."

To read the full article:

Johnson & Johnson's consumer announcement can be read in full here:

The CMF will continue to monitor this story and will publish updates as they emerge.