Video: Fighting for asbestos awareness and protection

To recognize National Day of Mourning, we’re releasing a special edition of the Prairies Video Project to highlight asbestos awareness.

This video highlights the work of the Saskatchewan Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (SADAO), a non-profit organization co-founded by former PSAC member Howard Willems, and the development of Bill 604, “Howard’s Law”.

After being diagnosed with mesothelioma, an asbestos related cancer of the lungs, two years ago, Howard dedicated the final years of his life to advocating for asbestos awareness and protection.

Together, SADAO and the PSAC Prairie Region, along with the Canadian Cancer Society, Saskatchewan Division and the Lung Association of Saskatchewan, lobbied government at various levels and fought for mandatory asbestos awareness legislation in Saskatchewan.

And we won!

“It wasn’t seen as a union issue, it wasn’t seen as one person’s crusade. It became an issue that citizens everywhere could relate to,” explains Marianne Hladun in the video. “Groups like first responders, the Saskatchewan Association of Fire Chiefs, and unions throughout the province were coming forward and calling on the government to establish a mandatory registry.”

Learn more about about asbestos awareness, Howard Willems and SADAO.

The Prairies Video project was produced with union labour: Road Dog Media, UNIFOR – Canadian Freelance Union Local 2040. It was awarded the 2014 CALM Award for “Best narrative video, or video series documentary”. View all videos from the series on our YouTube channel.

Like the video? Have a story of your own to share about the dangers of asbestos or the importance of health and safety? Share your comments and stories with us in the comments section on YouTube.

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