Kathleen Ruff: Tribute to Courageous Asbestos Victim Who Challenged Quebec Government to Stop Exporting Asbestos

Rachel Lee, a Korean asbestos victim, came to Quebec in December 2010 as a member of the Asia-Quebec Solidarity delegation to ask that Quebec stop exporting asbestos. Her one desire was to save others from dying from asbestos.

Rachel Lee

Rachel Lee speaking out at Quebec press conference

Rachel herself died from mesothelioma yesterday. She had been exposed to asbestos when she lived for a period in an apartment building close to a chrysotile asbestos-cement factory in Korea. Korea has since banned asbestos, but in the past most of its asbestos came from Quebec.

Around the world, victims of asbestos and the international labour movement are paying homage to her courage and selflessness.

While in Quebec, Rachel met with Quebec Minister Clément Gignac and asked him face to face to stop exporting asbestos death. Here is the letter just sent to Minister Gignac, asking him to honour Rachel’s appeal that his government not fund the asbestos traders who want to relaunch the Jeffrey asbestos mine and that Quebec permanently stop exporting asbestos.

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