Asbestos is safe, Duceppe says

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Asbestos is safe, Duceppe says

Bloc leader clarifies his stance after initially dodging questions

By MONIQUE MUISE, The Gazette April 5, 2011 4:14 AM

Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe clarified his position on Quebec’s asbestos industry early Monday after dodging questions the previous day about whether or not he felt the product it produces and exports is safe.

Duceppe told reporters on Sunday that he was in agreement with the recent request by the Parti Québécois to have a parliamentary commission established to look into the question of asbestos safety, with both sides of the debate represented.

“At the federal level, (the Bloc) has said that all export of asbestos from other provinces needs to be done with the same standards as the ones observed here in Quebec, which means that it’s quite controlled,” he said.

When pressed to clarify if he believed asbestos can be produced and used safely within Quebec, Duceppe did not give a clear answer, instead reiterating that the province should rely on scientific research and experts to answer that question.

On Monday morning, however, the question was once again put to the Bloc leader, and this time he tackled it head-on.

“We are not afraid, and we know that (asbestos) is made in a safe manner,” Duceppe said at a news conference in St. Jean-Port Joli. “This is not the same thing as the asbestos of the 1940s. It’s very different.”

Duceppe emphasized that the asbestos produced in Quebec, commonly referred to as chrysotile asbestos, should not be classified as a dangerous material.

[Article continues at original source]

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