Three of Quebec’s four political leaders do not support the scientific evidence on asbestos

Sun, Sep 30, 2018


Kathleen Ruff,

Three of the four political leaders in Quebec reject the scientific community’s recommendations regarding the dangers of asbestos. They continue in 2018 to collaborate with the position of the asbestos industry, which allows Quebec workers to be exposed to ten times higher amounts of asbestos fibres than is permitted in the rest of Canada, the United States, Europe or the Western world.

The totally discredited position of the asbestos industry is the standard still in force in Quebec.

1) The leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, Philippe Couillard, says  that science is not yet clear about the dangerousness of chrysotile asbestos. To date, he rejects the recommendations of the Quebec Medical Association, the Directors of Public Health of Quebec, Quebec’s National Institute of Public Health, the World Health Organization, etc. He has allowed the standard of the asbestos industry to be the law in Quebec.

2) The leader of the Quebec Party, Jean-François Lisée, who comes from Thetford Mines, wants Quebec’s health and safety standards on asbestos exposure, already the worst in Canada, to be weakened.

3) The leader of the Coalition avenir Québec, François Legault, refuses to disclose his position.

4) Québec solidaire says the government must respect the scientific facts and adopt a more rigorous standard.

The Quebec population goes to the polls on October 1, 2018 to elect a new government.


The Commission for Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work (CNESST) says two contradictory things:

1) The CNESST says that since asbestos kills more workers than any other danger, the CNESST has adopted a policy of zero tolerance: Zero tolerance – Asbestos: danger of exposure to asbestos dust.

2) The CNESST says it is still ignorant as to whether exposure to high levels of asbestos fibres is hazardous to workers’ health. The CNESST continues to trust the asbestos industry that has established the standard for asbestos exposure which the CNESST enforces in Quebec.

A comment

Respecting scientific facts is the paramount issue of our time, whether it be on climate change, tobacco, asbestos or other toxic products.

Too often, we have seen vested interests override scientific facts and the public interest with the result that we leave a legacy of suffering and disaster to the generations that follow us.


, , ,

Leave a Reply