A resource with expertise regarding the Canadian mining industry has come out against the Quebec government’s recent decision to award a $58 million loan to keep the Jeffrey Mine open the town of Asbestos.
In an opinion piece published in the Winnipeg Free Press titled “Public money should not prop up asbestos mining,” Alana Wilson argues that while the Canadian mining industry has been very profitable in the past, that propping up the nation’s asbestos mining industry with public money is not the proper way to act. Citing the decrease in worldwide demand for asbestos, Wilson, the senior research analyst for the Fraser Institute’s Global Centre for Mining Studies, said that even if the mines were reopened with taxpayer funding they would be “unprofitable.”
“Even if chrysotile can be safely mined in Canada, the European Union and more than 40 countries have banned it. Whether or not the health concerns are real, the global market has shrunk,” she wrote.
Despite this, Wilson goes on to list numerous occasions in which Canadian governments have helped fund pro-asbestos causes, such as the nearly $20 million given by Ottawa to the Chrystotile Institute between 1984 and 1997. Quebec also provided the institute with $200,000 per year around this time as well
“Both levels of government, however, have since cut off funding for the institute and, like asbestos mining itself, the institute appears unable to continue without government support.” She added.
The Quebec government made its announcement earlier this month that it was planning to go ahead with giving a $58 million loan to the owners of the Jeffrey Mine that would keep it open and, by their estimates create up to 500 full-time jobs at the mine and 1,000 positions indirectly related to the mine for a period of 20 years in the town.
The mine will only have to repay $1.5 million along with interest fees between 2015 and 2031.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by asbestos exposure and now suffers from mesothelioma, call Sokolove Law today to learn more about pursuing a mesothelioma lawsuit.