Asbestos (D)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his excellent speech. I would like to add another aspect to this debate about asbestos: the issue of the environmental impact in Quebec. I know that, in recent years, it has come to light that asbestos has polluted the environment in Quebec.


In fact, the ambient pollution by asbestos in waterways and in the regions of Asbestos, Quebec, and its surroundings have led to the highest level of women with asbestos-related cancer documented anywhere in the world.

I wonder if he has any comments on that aspect.

Mr. François Lapointe: Mr. Speaker, it is inescapable. Unfortunately, in the past 100 years and even recently, a significant number of workers have been victims of the market collapse. In Asbestos alone, 1,000 jobs have been lost in a small community of approximately 6,000 people. That would be equivalent to 900,000 people losing their jobs and having difficulty finding work in Toronto for 10 years. If Toronto had such a problem, there would have been a plan in place long ago to address it. The asbestos workers are suffering financially, and the member unfortunately is correct in saying that they are also the front-line victims of asbestos-related illnesses. I can therefore only concur with my colleague’s comments.