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Renovation Rebate Would Assist Asbestos Mitigation

The Quebec government recently announced a renovation rebate of up to 20%.  This will add jobs to their economy and help deal with health and safety issues like mitigating asbestos in renovations.

Asbestos can be found in stucco, drywall and drywall mud, roof shingles, window putty, vinyl and linoleum floor tiles, electrical wires, insulation, cement, and more.

In the 1970’s and 80’s, the government’s Canadian Home Insulation Program (CHIP) offered grants for installation of asbestos insulation such as Zonolite in homes.

Consumers and contractors relied on the government to ensure these products were safe, which in hindsight, was not the case.

WorkSafeBC has established very stringent and expensive regulations for renovations, demolitions, and handling of building materials that may contain asbestos.

These regulations include employee training, hiring consultants, testing materials, and hazardous materials management procedures. The cost to consumers is thousands of dollars.

A rebate program is necessary to help consumers with the cost of expensive asbestos mitigation in renovations and demolitions. It would also promote their health and safety.

The federal government, which supported the use of asbestos in Canadian homes, should step up with a national rebate to address this expensive health and safety issue.

The BC government should also take some responsibility to address the significant costs of WorkSafeBC regulations.

A renovation rebate similar to Quebec would be a good start.

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