Cullen congratulates Kathleen Ruff for her commitment to banning asbestos

SMITHERS – Nathan Cullen, MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley, today recognized Smithers resident Kathleen Ruff for her formidable efforts to compel Canada join the dozens of other countries that have banned asbestos. Last week, the federal government announced its intention to ban the import, export and manufacturing of asbestos by 2018.

“Kathleen is tireless. She has worked for a decade to get federal leaders to acknowledge what other countries, scientists, labour groups and families have known for decades – that asbestos is a dangerous, cancer-causing substance that should be banned,” said Cullen.

In 2007, when Canada was actively opposing the inclusion of asbestos on a list of dangerous substances under the Rotterdam Convention, Kathleen became involved in the fight against asbestos. She couldn’t sit back and watch it happen – so she got to work.

Kathleen attended meetings and spoke at rallies all over the world about the dangerous of asbestos and the shameful way Canada was acting. Closer to home, she inspired three students at Smithers Senior Secondary with her presentation so much that they  teamed up to propose a ban on asbestos exports from Canada, in Nathan Cullen’s inaugural “Create Your Canada” bill-writing contest in 2009.

“Kathleen’s colleagues describe her as polite, informed, determined...and unstoppable. It’s probably this last quality that has contributed so much to this week’s announcement. There is still more work to be done, such as legislation, enforcement, and creating a national registry, and I have a strong feeling that Kathleen will be there, holding the government to account every step of the way.”