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.
Wayne Peppard, Business Representative Allied Hydro Council of British Columbia
Linda Reinstein, CEO and Co-founder, Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
Tracy Ford, Co-founder, Asbestos-related Research, Education and Advocacy Fund
Anthony Whitston, Chair Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum (U.K.)
Eric Jonckheere, Co-president Association belge des victimes de l'amiante (Belgium)
Dr. Yv Bonnier Viger, President
Association des médecins spécialistes en santé communautaire du Québec
Marc Hindry, Board Member Association nationale de défense des victimes de l'amiante (France)
Dr. Najwa Bourawi, President Association pour la protection de l'environnement et le développement durable de Bizerte (Tunisia)
Lucie Thibodeau, President Association pour la santé publique du Québec
Gopal Krishna, Convener Ban Asbestos Network of India - Toxics Watch Alliance (India)
Dr. Helen Clayson, Chair Barrow Asbestos-Related Disease Support (U.K.)
Eliezer João de Souza
Brazilian Asbestos Exposed People Association (Brazil)
Rosanne Cohen, Executive Director Breast Cancer Action Montreal
Tom Sigurdson, Executive Director
British Columbia and Yukon Territory Building and Construction Trades Council
Dr. Éric Notebaert, Board Member Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
Suzanne Dubois, Director General Canadian Cancer Society - Quebec Division
Fe de Leon, Researcher
Canadian Environmental Law Association
Debra Lynkowski, CEO Canadian Public Health Association
Sheryl Thompson, CEO Canadian Society of Asbestos Victims
Stacy Cattran, Co-founder Canadian Voices of Asbestos Victims
Madhumita Dutta, Coordinator Corporate Accountability Desk - The Other Media (India)
Karel Mayrand, Director General for Québec David Suzuki Foundation
Emmanuel Odjam-Akumatey, Executive Director Ecological Restorations (Ghana)
Kaitlyn Mitchell, Lawyer
Bruce Cox, Executive Director Greenpeace
Lee Loftus, Business Manager
International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers - Local 118
Laurie Kazan-Allen, Coordinator International Ban Asbestos Secretariat
John Flanagan, Information Officer Merseyside Asbestos Victim Support Group (U.K.)
Jamie Kneen, Co-Manager Mining Watch
Christian Simard, Director General Nature Québec
María Elena Rozas
Pesticide Action Network Chile (Chile)
Javier Souza, Coordinator Pesticide Action Network Latin America (Argentina)
Diana Daghofer, Co-Chair Prevent Cancer Now
Dr. Jean Zigby, President of the Environment and Health Committee
Quebec College of Family Physicians
Dr. Ruth Vander Stelt, President Quebec Medical Association
Kathleen Ruff, Founder and Director RightOnCanada.ca
Howard Willems, Chairperson Saskatchewan Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
Kathy Burns, Director Science Corps (U.S.A.)
Dr. Mahmood A. Khwaja, Senior Advisor Sustainable Development Policy Institute (Pakistan)
Fernanda Giannasi, Coordinator Virtual Citizen Network for the Banishment of Asbestos in Latin America
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