Quebec Prepares for Post-Mining Future

Canada’s asbestos era really does appear to be over, as a key asbestos mining region plans for a different economic base.

The mayor of Thetford Mines, Quebec, is calling on the government to help his municipality transition to a “post-asbestos” economy. Thetford Mines was founded in 1876 after large asbestos deposits were found in the area. According to a story in Montreal’s The Gazette, about 100 local miners were thrown out of work when the nearby Lac d’amiante (Lake Asbestos) mine in St-Joseph-de-Coleraine closed in 2011. The mayor believes the Quebec government has a “duty” to move quickly to support the region.

Recently, the government promised to commit $50 million (in Canadian currency) to “support economic diversification efforts” in Thetford Mines and the nearby community of Asbestos. The sum was originally earmarked towards a loan to fund the reopening of Canada’s last major asbestos mine, the Winnipeg Free Press reported in March. But the mine will remain shuttered.

Nevertheless, Canada has yet to enact a complete ban on the mineral — although asbestos causes serious illnesses, such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma cancer. Similarly, the United States has yet to join the more than 50 nations who have already enacted a complete ban on asbestos. As this blog noted, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency came close to implementing a ban in 1989, but the industry frustrated the attempt with a court challenge. 

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related condition, you may be entitled to financial compensation. To learn more about your legal options, please contact us for a free case evaluation. Mesothelioma attorneys have helped victims recover lost wages and medical costs.