Quebec director of occupational safety asked to resign from asbestos project

Thu, Feb 24, 2011


The Quebec government is considering giving $58 million financing to a consortium of anonymous investors who want to open an asbestos mine in Quebec and export vast quantities of asbestos to the developing world. In the face of strong criticism from medical organisations in Quebec and around the world, the Quebec government said it would only provide the financial support if there was evidence that the asbestos exported would be “safely used” and not cause harm to health. All of Quebec’s medical authorities told the government that “safe use” of asbestos is not possible and asked it not to finance the project. The Director of Occupational Safety at Quebec’s Occupational Health & Safety Commission, Norman Paulin, however, is working on a “safe use of asbestos in India” agreement, on behalf of the Quebec government.

In a letter to Mr Paulin of February 11, 2011, a number of health activists, doctors and academics call on Mr Paulin to withdraw from this project, which they consider to be deceptive, discriminatory and in contravention of his Code of Ethics as an engineer.

Click here to read the English translation of the letter.

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