Asbestos protestors send clear message: fight is far from over

Several hundred protestors of the federal government's refusal to close the door on the production and export of asbestos were clear in the message they are sending those who insist on trying to restart a closed mine in Quebec: the fight is one they aren't willing to give up on.

With several speakers on hand to emphasize that message at the Dow People Place Saturday morning (Oct. !), crowds wearing "It's all bad" walked to the Workers Memorial near the municipal boat ramp.

The protest was organized by sisters Stacy Cattran and Leah Nielsen, whose father worked in the Sarnia area and at Bruce Power and who died of mesothelioma three years ago, just two and a half months after being diagnosed. 

Among those giving their support to the effort was Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley.

Linda Reinstein, who heads the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, which she founded in 2003 when her husband was diagnosed with mesothelioma, also spoke.

Dr. Glen Maddison, a palliative care physician in Sarnia, said he is concerned about the future for those who are handling asbestos in countries where the material is being handled by workers.

Jon McEachran, a Sarnia city councillor, is the cousin of Stacy Cattran and Leah Nielsen and nephew of the late William Coulbeck, the father of the sisters.

One of Jon McEachran's brothers, Adam McEachran, was joined by Mark Kennedy in performing a tribute song at the gathering.

Mayor Bradley told those gathered that  he plans to invite the new owner of the mine to visit Sarnia "to look you in the eye." Bradley also said the fight to ban asbestos production and export is not over and never will be,

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  • Thanks so much for the great coverage at the walk. We appreciate the support of Sarnia. Together we can stop asbestos from being mined and exported!

  • It sounds like the walk was a huge success – I wish I could have been there. All asbestos is deadly; there is no known safe exposure limit; there are no cures for the diseases that it creates. Asbestos-related diseases are the #1 occupational killer in Canada. We must come together to ban asbestos, and turn our attention and efforts to visctims and their families.
    Thanks Leah and Stacy for all of your work to bring attention to the issue.

  • I would like that kindly thank Linda Reinstein and Mayor Mike Bradley for their mention of my father Ralph Dewey. I hope that I can in some way help raise awareness of this deadly killer. Please stop the export of Asbestos.
    Sincerely Linda (Dewey) Nagy

  • Cathy

    The time for Canada to stop exporting death to 60 countries around the world is now. Listen to these short clips and you will see why. We are wives, daughers, sons and brothers, funded by grief and nothing more. Mr. Harper: you have blood on your hands. Mr. Chadha: your head is buried in the sand. Wake up: it’s the 21st century. Canadians are too smart for your antics.

  • Thank you to the community of Sarnia for their great support of the 2011 Walk. Please join us September 29th, 2012, for another “Walk to Remember Victims of Asbestos.” We need to be even bigger and louder this year–apparently Ottawa couldn’t hear us last time. Bring your family, your neighbours, your pictures, and your banners–let’s be heard in 2012!