Cancer groups are up in arms over the recent decision by the Quebec government to go ahead with giving a $58 million loan to the owners of the Jeffrey Mine in the town of Asbestos that will keep the mine operational.
Bernard Coulombe, the president of the Jeffrey Asbestos Mine held a news conference last week with Yvonn Vallières, a member of the national assembly, to announce the loan. They projected that keeping the mine open with the loan would create between up to 500 full-time jobs at the mine, and 1,000 positions indirectly related to the mine for a period of 20 years in the town.
The mine will have to repay $1.5 million along with interest fees between 2015 and 2031.
Despite the economic reasoning given for the loan, many detractors are instead focusing on the worldwide dangers concerning mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases that the Quebec government is seemingly condoning.
“This decision means the Quebec government is in direct conflict with global cancer control as all forms of asbestos cause cancer, said Paul Lapierre, the vice president of public affairs and cancer control for the Canadian Cancer Society, according to the CBC. “We believe these funds should instead be directed to projects to help the affected communities diversify their economic base.”
Quebec initially announced last April that it was planning to support the Jeffrey Mine, which has struggled economically in recent years as the universally known health concerns linked to asbestos exposure affected its business. Since then, families of victims, doctors from 28 different countries, and a number of cancer and anti-asbestos groups had pleaded with the government to rethink the loans.
Sadly, their requests went unheard.
If you or a loved one has developed mesothelioma that can be attributed to some form of asbestos exposure, call Sokolove Law today to learn more about possibly pursuing a mesothelioma lawsuit.