Lee Loftus


Interviewed by Ken Novakowski

In this far-reaching conversation, Lee Loftus discusses his experiences as a third-generation insulator, and union member and executive with the Heat and Frost Insulators Union Local 118 in British Columbia.

Throughout his career, he was involved in negotiating pension plans, working to make regulatory changes to improve union contracts, coping with the impacts of B.C. Labour Code changes in the mid-1980s, and helping to create the Canadian Federation of Labour – then later rejoining the Canadian Labour Congress.

Lee calls himself a “climate zealot” and explains how the construction industry has a large potential role in mitigating and coping with climate change. A prominent anti-asbestos advocate, he speaks about his experiences with asbestos and his ongoing activism to protect workers and their families. He also discusses his participation in developing the Construction Rehab Plan, and his lifelong commitment to adult education.


Bricklayers Union; Insulators Union; Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers’ Union; Heat and Frost Insulators’ Union; Local 118; United Association of Journeymen & Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry (UA); communism;  pension trustee; safety director; Bentall Tower Four; Bentall tragedy; cost of living adjustment; construction unions; Construction Industry Advisory Commission (CIAC); Expo 86; labour code; double breasting; deindustrialization; Canadian Federation of Labour (CFofL); Canadian Labour Congress (CLC); house of labour;  Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety; Teamsters; WorkSafe BC; B.C. Building Trades; B.C. Bargaining Council of Building Trades Union (BCBCBTU); Christy Clark; liquid natural gas (LNG); the Communist Party of Canada; climate change; energy efficiency; Anthony (Tony) Ceraldi; asbestos; mesothelioma; Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation; Construction Rehab Plan; Burnaby, BC Labour Heritage Centre; adult education

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