Ontario Investing Over $6 Million to Prevent Work-related Cancers

Ontario Investing Over $6 Million to Prevent Work-related Cancers

Funding will support research by the Occupational Cancer Research Centre

November 26, 2021

Labour, Training and Skills Development

TORONTO – Ontario is investing more than $6 million to support research led by the Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC) to identify the causes of workplace cancers, prevent them from occurring, and better support workers already impacted by occupational illness. This investment will help scientists identify and track occurrences of workplace cancer and exposure to harmful substances, research the causes of workplace cancer, and ultimately help improve the recognition of occupational illnesses in the province.

“Every workplace injury, illness, or fatality is preventable. While Ontario has one of the best health and safety records in the country, we are continuously striving to better protect our workers,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “We’re proud to fund the Occupational Cancer Research Centre’s research in this critical area, which will support our mission to ensure every worker in Ontario comes home safe after a hard day’s work.”

“Our government is committed to protecting the health and well-being of all Ontarians,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This important investment will help ensure the Occupational Cancer Research Centre has access to the resources they need to conduct research and protect Ontarians against work-related diseases and cancers.”

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development’s increase in funding for the OCRC will significantly expand their research to ensure Ontario has the best available data and evidence when developing prevention and exposure-reduction strategies to improve workers’ health and safety. This data will also help the WSIB in its efforts to support injured workers and families impacted by work-related cancers and diseases.

Today’s announcement builds on the government’s work to protect workers from workplace injuries and illness through the five-year Prevention Works strategy. The strategy aims to help workplaces comply with and exceed workplace health and safety laws and standards to keep workers safe, focusing on occupational illnesses, employee mental health, workplace violence, and harassment.

“I want to thank Minister McNaughton for the substantial funding announced today, which will give us the funding we need to improve identification, tracking, and prevention of occupational illnesses in Ontario,” said Dr. Paul Demers, Director of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre. “This investment also gives us the resources to attract promising new researchers to this critical area and advance our understanding of occupational cancer risks and prevention strategies.”

Quick Facts


“On behalf of the Ontario Insulators, we are enthused with this project and the impact it will have on the future of our industry and trade. We are appreciative and in full support of these initiatives and look forward to the implementation and outcome of this development.”

– David Gardner
Business Manager, Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 95

“The Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation applauds the Ontario government funding research on information about monitoring, treatment and mitigation of harmful exposure to materials like asbestos. We are especially supportive of a feasibility study on an enhanced Ontario Cancer Care Registry or a standalone registry of workers who have mesothelioma.”

– Dr. Eudice Goldberg
Board Chair, Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation

“The price of going to work must never be life itself. On behalf of LiUNA, we commend the ongoing leadership of Minister McNaughton in partnership with the Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC) to support leading research that will prioritize the health and safety of Ontario’s workforce with a significant focus on prevention and exposure-reduction strategies. With a commitment to industry-leading training including the LiUNA Asbestos Abatement Worker Program, we reaffirm our commitment to working with government and industry to strengthen workplace safety and ensure that all workers return home safely at the end of each and every day.”

– Joseph Mancinelli
International Vice President and Regional Manager of Central and Eastern Canada, LiUNA

“As an industry leader, I am now able to advocate for workers in Ontario by ensuring that abatement employees receive the proper Asbestos Worker training and certifications. The OADC supports the great leadership of Minister McNaughton through his mission to prevent work-related cancers in partnership with the Occupational Cancer Research Centre. Everyone deserves to have comfort knowing their loved ones will return home from work safely.”

– Margaret Taylor
Executive Director, Ontario Association of Demolition Contactors

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