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October 2022 Newsletter
This newsletter is produced by the staff of the BC Labour Heritage Centre on behalf of our board of directors.
This matters.
This is human.
This is about us.
New Asbestos Memorial in downtown Vancouver is a monument to the thousands of workers poisoned and killed by this deadly substance.
On Thursday, September 22 we gathered to officially dedicate The Asbestos Memorial on the Vancouver waterfront. Although asbestos was banned in Canada in 2018, it is still killing people. It can strike workers decades after just a single exposure.

We want the Asbestos Memorial to raise awareness about the continued and ever-present threat of asbestos, to spur conversations about those still living, and how best to keep them from being affected.

We chose artist Doug Taylor’s “Wind Wheel Mobile” as the centrepiece of the Asbestos Memorial. Rich in symbolism, it will become an iconic reminder of those lost to asbestos exposure and a reminder of the danger that continues. Our sincere gratitude to WorkSafeBC, PAVCO/Vancouver Convention Centre and the Province of BC for the five-year partnership.
At the foot of the sculpture are two interpretive panels. One provides a statement from the artist of his concept.. Another includes the poem “Magic and Lethal”, by John MacLachlan Gray, OC. The photo on the second panel shows members of the Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers Union on a wildcat strike in 1971 over the presence of asbestos at their worksite. Dan Scott photo, Vancouver Sun.
BC Federation of Labour President Laird Cronk shared a powerful personal story at the dedication of The Asbestos Memorial last week. Take six minutes to watch.
Photo Album
Our major funders:
Asbestos – A Lethal Legacy is a new podcast episode from our crew at “On the Line”. Lee Loftus, a third-generation member of the Insulators Union Local 118 talks about his role in raising awareness and understanding the risks of asbestos exposure. Catch the whole episode
An ironic safety banner at an asbestos shipping facility in the 1970s. Last year alone, asbestos claimed the lives of 53 BC workers. Since 2000, it’s been responsible for one-third of all Canadian work-related deaths—the single biggest workplace killer, striking down workers decades after exposure. Image: Northern BC Archives and Special Collections, Cassiar Asbestos Corporation Ltd. fonds, 2000.

Beloved Kitsilano sculpture alive and kicking again after 3-year absence | CBC News



April 4, 2017