MAC: Mines and Communities

76% of Quebeckers oppose government financing for the Jeffrey asbestos mine

Published by MAC on 2011-01-25
Source: Statement (2011-01-14)

The proposed re-opening of a Canadian asbestos mine has already moved Asian campaigners to protest in Quebec: Asian anti-asbestos delegation headed to Quebec

Now, a recent poll in the province indicates that the vast majority of Quebecois citizens themselves want the mine to remain closed.

Readers can still support a petition on the issue at:


76% of Quebeckers oppose government financing for the Jeffrey asbestos mine

Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment release

14 January 2011

An opinion poll of a representative sample of 1001 Quebeckers, carried out by Léger Marketing between January 3 and 5, 2011 and made public today, shows the following:

Only 23% of respondents supported giving financing to the asbestos industry. For the question as to whether to give financing to the consortium of investors to re-open the Jeffrey mine, only 14% were in favour.

The poll was commissioned by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE).

"These results clearly show that the vast majority of Quebeckers are opposed to government financing for the Jeffrey mine," said Dr Éric Notebaert, board member of CAPE. "We hope that Premier Charest will be guided by the good sense of Quebeckers and that he will not finance the consortium of investors who want to re-launch the export of asbestos. The $58 million should be used to launch economic diversification in the mining region and sustainable jobs."

"Health experts in Quebec and from around the world have asked the Quebec government not to finance the Jeffrey mine. It is clear that an overwhelming majority of the Quebec population also oppose the government giving financing for the Jeffrey mine. Is the government listening?"asked Dr Fernand Turcotte, professor emeritus of public health, Laval University.

Below is the Léger poll statement and the two questions asked:

The Quebec government is thinking of giving a $58 million loan guarantee to a consortium of foreign investors who wish to re-open the Jeffrey mine at Asbestos in order to mine and export asbestos for a period of 25 years. On the one hand, this project represents the creation of jobs and economic benefits for the region. On the other hand, all the medical authorities, including the Canadian Cancer Society, oppose the project, as asbestos causes pulmonary diseases (asbestosis) and cancers.

Question 1: Do you believe that the government should support the asbestos industry?

Question 2: Do you believe that the government should finance the project of the consortium of investors?


Gideon Foreman, Executive Director, CAPE, Work: (416) 306-2273; cell: 647 703-5957

Docteur Fernand Turcotte Home : 514-389-1240;

Docteur Éric Notebaert Home : 514-342-1294 / Cell: 514-912-6262 / Work: 514-338-2000;

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