Survey: Most Quebecois Oppose Government’s Asbestos Plan

According to a recent survey, more than three quarters of Quebec residents oppose their government’s plan to expand the Jeffrey asbestos mine in Asbestos, Quebec.

The recent survey commissioned by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment is the latest sign that the vast majority of Canadians oppose the idea of exporting the toxic product to the developing world. With asbestos largely banned for domestic use in Canada, the government has found a veritable goldmine in countries such as India that covet the cheap and abundant mineral for building materials.

Until recently, the Jeffrey asbestos mine was the world’s largest. Once owned and operated by Johns-Manville, the once mighty world leader in asbestos product, the mine has been largely inactive since 2008, with its lower levels now filling with water.

The Quebec government has been searching for ways to rejuvenate the mine. The government is now debating whether to give a $58 million loan guarantee to a company that wants to expand the mine.

Asbestos use has largely been banned in most of the industrialized world since it was proven that exposure to asbestos may lead to mesothelioma, lung cancer, and numerous other illnesses. Asbestos is not currently banned in the United States.