The Rideau Institute Calls on the Quebec Government to Not Finance Mine Expansion

Media Release

For Immediate Release

January 28, 2011

The Rideau Institute Calls on the Quebec Government to Not Finance Mine Expansion

Ottawa — The Rideau Institute, an independent research, advocacy, and consulting group, is calling on the Quebec government to not support asbestos exports by funding the Jeffrey mine expansion.

This comes in light of a recent poll commissioned by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) showing that the vast majority of Quebecers are against the government funding the Jeffrey mine expansion.

The poll shows that a total of 65% of people in Quebec oppose government financing for the Quebec asbestos industry and 76% oppose government financing for the Jeffrey asbestos mine.

Prime Minister Harper’s Quebec lieutenant, Christian Paradis, who is Minister of Natural Resources Canada, has expressed enthusiastic support for the plan to revive Quebec’s asbestos industry and Harper has promised his continued support for the export of asbestos.

“This opinion poll confirms what we have been saying for a long time,” says Kathleen Ruff, Board member of the Rideau Institute. “Governments in Canada should not be supporting or funding investors who want to export asbestos around the world. Health experts around the world are appalled that Canada could be planning to massively export a deadly product that it refuses to use itself. ”

The Quebec government is considering whether to give a $58-million loan guarantee to a company that wants to re-open the Jeffrey mine in Asbestos in the Eastern Townships to mine and export asbestos for a period of 25 years. This comes despite all the medical authorities, including the Canadian Cancer Society, opposing the project because asbestos is known to causes pulmonary diseases (asbestosis) and cancers.

Instead of financing a dying, deadly industry, it would be better to fund healthy and sustainable economic initiatives.

“It is clear that an overwhelming majority of the Quebec population along with major health experts in Quebec and from around the world think that the expansion of the Jeffrey Mine is a terrible idea,” says Ruff. “We sure hope that the Charest and Harper governments to come to the same conclusion.”

– 30 –

For further information:

Kathleen Ruff, Rideau Institute board member and campaign founder,

kruff@bulkley.net (250) 847-1848

Download the poll

The Rideau Institute is an independent research, advocacy, and consulting group based in Ottawa.

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