Welcome to the Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation
Founded in 2008, the Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation is a largely volunteer-run registered charity, dedicated to raising awareness and understanding about mesothelioma in Canada. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that is almost exclusively linked to asbestos exposure. The CMF supports mesothelioma patients and their families, as well as the development of a network of expertise in mesothelioma diagnosis, treatment and care across Canada. Learn more about us here.
Bienvenue à la Fondation Canadienne du Mésothéliome
Fondée en 2008, La Fondation Canadienne du Mesotheliome est un organisme de bien faisance enregistré en grande partie géré par des bénévoles, dédié à la sensibilisaton et la comprehension sur le mésothéliome au Canada. Le mésothéliome est un cancer rare qui est presque exclusivement liée à l’exposition à l’amiante. La FCM soutient les patients de mésothéliome et leurs familles, ainsi que le développement d’un réseau d’expertise dans le diagnostique, les traitements, et les soins de mésothéliome à travers le Canada. Pour en savoir plus, cliquez ici
It's finally here! CMF 2023 Mission for Meso
The CMF has launched a new service for our support groups, where members join a Zoom call and directly connect with the CMF and others affected by mesothelioma. These sessions are moderated by the newest member of our team, Robin Forbes, a social worker with the Mesothelioma program at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. She knows about mesothelioma compensation options and the need for emotional and practical support for people diagnosed with mesothelioma and their family members.
Watch for news about our next CMF Mesothelioma Discussion group in October 2023 to join us and connect with others, learn about our new service and help us plan for future sessions to meet your needs and interests. People living with a mesothelioma diagnosis and their caregivers/family members are all welcome at this joint session.
CBC shares a Robyn Schleihauf's compelling personal story about her dad's mesothelioma. Tom Schleihauf worked as an electrician in Sarnia where he developed mesothelioma.
The Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation held a fundraising and awareness raising event with award-winning photographer and filmmaker, Louie Palu, at the Stephen Bulger Gallery, 1356 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario M6J 1Y2.
Louie provided a guided tour of his photos documenting the harm of exposure to asbestos. His beliefs have been shaped growing up as the son of an immigrant construction labourer in Toronto's Italian community.
Palu's work has been published worldwide, including in The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic and the Globe and Mail. His work is in the collections in museums such as the National Gallery of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Museum of Fine Arts Houston and Smithsonian. The exhibition was followed by a ScotiaBank Contact Photo Festival Special Event with Rebecca Senf, Curator Center for Creative Photography Arizona discussing Louie's work.
Although asbestos is now banned in Canada, people continue to be exposed to asbestos because of its prevalence in our built environment. Asbestos-related diseases continue to be the number one cause of workplace deaths.
Funds raised go to support Meso patients and their families in many ways including support groups, information on diagnosis and treatments, advocacy to prevent further exposures, and we provide funds for research to improve diagnosis, treatments and help find a cure. But most of all we provide hope to those who receive this devastating diagnosis.
Many thanks to our sponsors:
The Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation raises funds to support mesothelioma research. Please see the attached UHN report on the CMF Professorship in Mesothelioma Research, 2023.
On Friday, September 16th, CBC Vancouver reported that WorkSafeBC has issued a fine of $710,488.79 for asbestos violations at a work site in Kimberly, BC. The fine, which is the highest administrative penalty that WorkSafeBC has ever handed out, was levied against GFL Environmental because it failed to provide workers with personal protective equipment while they were conducting asbestos abatement work on a commercial building that had been damaged by fire and was believed to be cross contaminated with asbestos-containing materials. During a post-demolition inspection, WorkSafeBC inspectors witnessed "one of the firm's workers inside the containment area, loading debris into disposal bins with an excavator. The worker was not wearing personal protective equipment ... and exited the excavator, still within the containment area, without PPE." In a written statement, WorkSafeBC said "the firm failed to provide its workers with the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure their health and safety". All of the violations were high risk violations.
To read the CBC article: WorkSafeBC fines waste management company $710K for asbestos violations
“More than half of all work-related fatalities are from occupational diseases, of which the majority are from exposure to asbestos. We cannot, and will not, tolerate employers endangering the lives of workers. There are profound consequences for this kind of egregious disregard for worker health and safety."
– Al Johnson, Head of Prevention Services, WorkSafeBC
In November 2021, a contractor in B.C. was charged with offences under the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation for knowingly exposing between 13 and 15 workers to asbestos-containing material (some of whom worked for a third-party contractor). At a hearing in BC Provincial Court in March 2022, the contractor pleaded guilty and was fined $20K, plus a victim surcharge. In addition, he was prohibited from owning or operating a waste transfer facility or any other business that involves the management, handling, or disposal of asbestos-containing material for three years. Crown counsel submitted that the contractor had committed the offences in order to avoid the cost and responsibility of cleaning up an asbestos-contaminated worksite. Click here to read what WorkSafeBC says about this case.
Although banned in Canada in 2018, asbestos is still very much a part of the built environment and is found in more than 3,000 common building materials. As noted on WorkSafeBC's website, these include vinyl and linoleum flooring, stucco, loose-blown insulation, roof felt shingles, gypsum board filling compound, incandescent light fixture backings, and deck under-sheeting, among others. For that reason, it is really important that before renovating or demolishing a home or any structure built before 1990, all asbestos-containing materials be first identified by a qualified asbestos testing company or surveyor and then be safely removed by a qualified asbestos abatement contractor. WorkSafeBC's asbestos resources and information can be found here.
In March 2022, the BC Government amended Part 2 (Occupational Health and Safety) of the Workers Compensation Act to require that asbestos abatement contractors be licensed to operate in British Columbia, and that workers and employers who perform this work must complete mandatory safety training and certification.
An important objective of our organisation is to support the emotional health of patients living with mesothelioma, as well as the people who care for them.
Currently, we offer a number of private, invite-only Facebook groups for mesothelioma patients, loved ones and bereaved to connect with one another, share experiences and seek support from others in similar situations.
To join one of our online groups, please follow these steps: