Deadline to submit comments on proposed regulatory changes respecting asbestos fast approaching

In December, the Government of Canada announced its intention move forward with its commitment to ban asbestos and asbestos-containing products by the end of 2018. This will include the use, manufacture and import of asbestos. 

The comprehensive ban on asbestos will include:

  • Creating new regulations that ban the manufacture, use, import and export of asbestos under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.
  • Establishing new federal workplace health and safety rules that will drastically limit the risk of people coming into contact with asbestos on the job.
  • Updating our international position regarding the listing of asbestos as a hazardous material based on Canada's domestic ban before next year's meeting of parties to the Rotterdam Convention, an international treaty involving more than 150 countries that support listing asbestos as a hazard.

Science Minister Kirsty Duncan explained at the time of the announcement that this was the “start of a two-year process that will have consultation throughout.” The process will be open and inclusive and will allow for consultations with multiple stakeholders—including provinces, territories, communities, industry, scientists and health professionals—in advance of the ban being implemented.

The Government has published a Section 71 Notice in the Canada Gazette, Part I, Vol. 150, No. 51, pursuant to the information gathering provisions of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA). 

As a first step in the consultation process, interested parties may submit comments on the approach set out in the notice by mail or email by January 18, 2017 3 p.m. EST to:

Director, Chemical Management Division
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Place Vincent Massey
351 Saint-Joseph Boulevard, 10th Floor, Gatineau, Quebec, K1A 0H3
Email: ec.amiante-asbestos.ec@canada.ca

Interested parties will also be consulted in the spring of 2017, and additional information will be posted here. There will be another opportunity to make written comments specific to the regulatory proposal during the mandatory consultation period that will follow the publication of the proposed regulations in December 2017. 

This collection of information will inform the regulation(s) promulgated under CEPA. To determine whether this Notice applies to you, see Schedule 2 of the Notice or the Guidance Document for completing the CEPA section 71 Notice with respect to asbestos. Parties can also complete a ‘declaration of stakeholder interest.’