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Thank you for bringing attention to this national shame: our asbestos industry, and the lack of compensation for its thousands of Canadian victims ["Asbestos cancer rate rising", November 4-11].

WorksafeBC does not provide disability pensions for patients over the age of 65. It does provide a modest survivor pension and some medical benefits.

Cases of mesothelioma and other terminal asbestos-related lung cancers continue to rise, despite declining asbestos use. Symptoms can appear up to 40 years after exposure. Asbestos deaths are accountable for more than 60 percent of annual occupational fatalities.

A better story—maybe—will come from the current political situation in B.C. With a new leader, there is an opportunity for this province to break with a shameful record on asbestos compensation. To whoever becomes the next premier, please, make this right. It would be the first step of many toward ending Canada’s addiction to mining and exporting this lethal substance.

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