The federal government is announcing Thursday that it's committing to a comprehensive ban by 2018 of asbestos, a deadly material that contaminates tens of thousands homes and buildings across the country.

Here are some of the key commitments of the announcement:

  • Several departments will work together to fulfil the commitment to ban asbestos by 2018.
  • The government will create new regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).
  • New workplace health and safety rules are expected to drastically limit the risk of people coming into contact with asbestos on the job.
  • New actions will be put in place to ban the import of asbestos-containing products such as certain construction materials and brake pads.
  • The current online list of asbestos-containing buildings owned or leased by Public Services and Procurement Canada will be expanded to include all federal buildings that have the substance.
  • National building codes will be changed to prohibit the use of asbestos in new construction and renovation projects across Canada.
  • Canada's position on the listing of asbestos as a hazardous material will be reviewed ahead of next year's meeting of the Rotterdam Convention (an international treaty of more than 150 countries that support listing asbestos as a hazard).
  • Canada will also commit to raising the awareness of the health impacts of asbestos to help prevent the spread of lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases.

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