From April 7-15 a delegation from Casale Monferrato, Italy, the small city of 36,000 people which has suffered more than 1000 mesothelioma cases from preventable asbestos exposure, will make a solidarity and educational visit to Ontario. This visit is part of a positive learning exchange to share their experience in dealing with the complex legacy of asbestos and will help us here, as Canada’s ban on asbestos is implemented, make the necessary progress in mesothelioma health care, asbestos remediation and education and awareness.
The delegation will visit Peterborough and Sarnia – cities hit hard by occupational disease – and Toronto where, on Saturday April 13, a strategy summit will be held, with representatives from all the main occupational disease clusters, along with key partners and activists. The Italian activists will speak about the world leading struggle they have carried out over the past 40 years; participants will share experiences in Italy and Canada and the lessons learned. Please hold the date – further details on the summit available soon.
The Italian delegation includes:
- Teacher and member of the city council of Casale Monferrato — Assunta Prato – who will meet Ontario community leaders, civic officials and elected representatives to discuss the impressive progress made by Casale in dealing with the physical legacy of asbestos. Together with a high school student from the region, she will discuss with educators and student their initiatives in raising awareness of asbestos hazards
- The two Casale Monferrato oncologists – Dr. Daniela Degiovanni and Dr. Federica Grosso – who have led the development of integrated treatment and palliative care for mesothelioma patients, and psychological and social support for them and their families. They will participate in joint educational sessions with Canadian health professionals, especially to learn more about the innovations in mesothelioma treatment achieved here.
- Two labour leaders – Nicola Pondrano and Bruno Pesce – who have been in the leadership of the asbestos victims group of Casale Monferrato and the struggle to prevent hazardous exposure and protect victims.
Read background on the visit, the schedule, the issues and what we can learn from Casale Monferrato.
The delegation will be hosted by our Amianto-Italia-Canada-Asbestos Committee, (affiliated with the Italian Fallen Workers Memorial Committee), Comitès (a major Italian community organizations), Asbestos Free Canada, and other organizations vitally interested in asbestos issues. Sponsoring organizations to date include the Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation, Unifor, Canada’s Building Trades Unions, the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario and the Labourers’ International Union.