Howard Willems, who contracted mesothelioma while inspecting a number of older food plants, says the proposed registry should list buildings that contain asbestos.
"Everyone has a right to know when they go into a workplace or when they're going into a building, it is safe," said Willems, who had a lung removed in 2011.
Willems said he now realizes he was exposed to the fibre while inspecting plants that were being renovated, especially during the removal of pipes with asbestos insulation.
At the time, he added, no one seemed concerned about the dangers of breathing in the fibres. He said a registry would help workers be better informed and take precautions, such as putting on a mask.
Willems is not the only one pushing for public records. The Canadian Cancer Society and environmental activist Daniel Green are also proponents of a registry.
The CBC Community has reacted in various ways to the proposal.
- "I think an asbestos registry is a good idea. This is what true accountability looks like -- it is more than rhetoric and promises and attack politics. It is action. And yes, it will cost, but that's what accountability entails." - sueper
- "Make things transparent for those that pay for it. The taxpayer. The presence of asbestos MUST be disclosed if the property is ever sold. It would make business run smoother if there was a registry to research. Plus all the little spin off benefits like saving lives and helping people avoid cancer." - misplaced Caper
- "This is one of those cases where some common sense is better than bureaucracy. As others have said, asbestos isn't a big deal in day-to-day use; it's when renovations or construction occurs that it's a health risk. If a building with asbestos in it is having work done, everyone who COULD enter the building should be notified and if they absolutely must enter, they should be provided with equipment that'll keep them safe (and it should be secured against people who aren't supposed to be there)." - JimD40
- "I would rather see taxpayer money go towards general healthcare, rather than an asbestos building registry . . . A complete database of buildings with asbestos would cost millions . . . I personally don't see the value of a registry of that magnitude." - Lucky Canadian
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
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CBC News Community team, from left to right: Andrew Yates, Andrea Lee-Greenberg, Lauren O'Neil, John Bowman
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