Overseas Demonstrations Protest Expansion of Quebec Asbestos Mine

Mon, Jun 28, 2010

In the media

Protests in Seoul, South Korea; Washington DC; New York and Brussels, June 24, 2010

OVERSEAS DEMONSTRATIONS PROTEST EXPANSION OF QUEBEC ASBESTOS MINE

On Quebec’s national day, June 24, protests took place around the world against a proposed Quebec government $58 million subsidy to revive Quebec’s dying asbestos industry. This subsidy would allow the inidustry to open a new Jeffrey underground mine and export 5 million tonnes of asbestos to the developing world over the next twenty-five years.

Quebec’s Jeffrey asbestos mine was the world’s biggest open-pit asbestos mine. For the past century, it exported asbestos all over the world. Today, it is barely surviving. It is under bankruptcy protection and ceased operations last October, having no more asbestos. Industrialized countries, who received Quebec’s vast asbestos exports in the past, today are experiencing asbestos disease epidemics. All these countries have now banned asbestos or, if they haven’t banned it, simply refuse to use it.

Private investors refuse to invest in the mine.The mine owes $50 million to the Quebec Pension Fund and owes $30 million for clean-up costs of the environmental mess its mine has created. Former workers at the Jeffrey mine lost a chunk of their pension funds in the bankruptcy agreement.

Prime Minister Harper and Premier Charest are strong supporters of the asbestos industry and fund the industry’s lobby group, the Chrysotile Institute. Canada is a leading world propagandist for use of asbestos in developing countries.

On June 24, protests against Quebec and Canada took place in Hong Kong, Seoul, Mumbai, New York, Washington DC and Brussels.

Click here for photos of the demonstration in Hong Kong

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2 Responses to “Overseas Demonstrations Protest Expansion of Quebec Asbestos Mine”

  1. Josette Wier Says:

    My heart goes to the workers who are likely unaware of the manipulations of their unions and the Quebec government. Those people should be offered opportunities other than mining a product that will bring death and suffering to Third World countries. They could also be bought back. The Quebec government has shown a dismal lack of creativity by cornering them into having no other choice. There are choices and asbestos deadly export is not it.


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  1. [...] Against Quebec’s Asbestos Mining On June 24th, public health advocates in nine countries participated in a global demonstration opposing the Quebec government’s proposed funding of the Jeffrey Asbestos [...]

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