Canada’s largest asbestos mine may get money, protection

Back in April, Canada’s largest asbestos mine raised a cool couple million from business co-operatives in Quebec in order to expand, stay open year round and save hundreds of jobs.  

Now facing bankruptcy, the mine needs help from the government to keep going. And, they might just get it.  

The two Canadian asbestos mines are hoping Canada’s leaders will inject some money in to the dying industry. Both of the last asbestos mines are under bankruptcy protection thanks to falling sales over the last few years. The Jeffrey Mine in aptly-named Asbestos, Quebec, will be able to build a new underground mine with $58 million from the government on the conditions that a five-year contract is signed and a trust fund created using a portion of the worker’s salaries.  

For years, Canada has prohibited the use of the deadly mineral while profiting off its export. The asbestos mined in Quebec will primarily be sent to Asia and Africa, where few safety protocols or awareness of asbestos dangers exist.  In these countries, asbestos is rarely even handled or transported as if it’s a danger to anyone.  

Along with ridiculous amounts of money, Prime Minister Harper has said political protection is theirs, and this will prevent any regulation of the industry. The Quebec Premier, Jean Charest, has also flatly said that it’s really up to the other countries if they want to implement safety regulations to protect workers, but it’s not Canada’s responsibility.

The use of asbestos as a building material is banned in developed countries such as Canada, but developing countries are some of Canada’s largest customers of the toxic mineral. Canada’s asbestos lobby group already receives $250,000 annually to create pro-asbestos materials for distribution among developing countries using the material, like Thailand and Zimbabwe, touting asbestos safety and cost-effectiveness.

Should you suspect the presence of asbestos in your home or business, Contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca – Toronto’s asbestos removal specialists – at (416) 818-9414.

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