The newly elected Quebec government has agreed to cancel a $58-million loan that would have reopened one of the last two asbestos mines in Canada. And last week the federal government announced that it will give money to mining communities to help them shift to safer forms of economic development and will no longer oppose the listing of chrysotile asbestos as a hazardous substance in international conventions. However, the Jeffrey Mine’s operator says the company will go ahead with plans to reopen the mine.
Photo credit: lhoon via Flickr.
Exposure to asbestos is estimated to cause over 90,000 preventable deaths worldwide each year. About 40 countries have banned asbestos, including all member countries of the European Union. But the market for asbestos has continued, largely because of Canadian efforts to promote exports and block inspections on the international trade of this toxic substance.
It’s time to turn the page on a dark episode in our history, when economic interests came before the lives of thousands of men, women and children in Canada and Quebec. Lobbying from the industry is powerful. This is why we must insist that the Quebec and federal governments work to impose a permanent ban on mining and exporting this deadly substance.
Please take a moment to write to Canada’s prime minister and industry minister and Quebec’s premier to demand a permanent ban on asbestos mining and exports.