By Kaitlyn Mitchell, staff lawyer
Yesterday, a coalition of groups -- including Ecojustice -- asked Quebec Premier Jean Charest to end his government’s support for the deadly asbestos trade.
Our message was simple: refuse the loan guarantee that would allow the Jeffrey Mine to reopen. With the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, set to open next Wednesday, refusing the loan would send a strong message that Quebec supports a green economy.
Promoting the mining and export of Quebec asbestos — a known human carcinogen — is inconsistent with a green economy and sustainable development.
To read the full letter and to see who signed it, click here, or read it below.
Montreal, June 11, 2012
The Honorable Jean Charest, M.N.A.
Premier of Québec
Édifice Honoré-Mercier, 3rd Floor
835 René-Lévesque Blvd. E.
Québec, QC G1A 1B4
Dear Premier Charest:
As the world prepares for Rio+20, we renew our call for you to end government support for the asbestos industry and refuse the loan guarantee that would allow Jeffrey Mine to reopen.
Rio+20 will mark the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the “Earth Summit”). With a green economy theme, the conference is announced as an historic opportunity to define pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all.
The United Nations Environment Program defines green economy as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. Promoting the mining and export of Quebec asbestos – a known human carcinogen – is inconsistent with a green economy and sustainable development goals.
You played a leadership role at the 1992 Earth Summit as Canada’s environment minister. Now, on the occasion of Rio+20, we appeal to you to concretely demonstrate your continued commitment to a green economy by ending government support for the deadly asbestos trade.
We look forward to your response.