Canada city of Asbestos, Quebec, appears for brand new identify

Rodiano Bonacci
Dicembre 1, 2019

The small Quebec town, site of the world's largest asbestos mine, says it will announce a new name next year and residents are welcome to offer suggestions, the BBC reports.

That was six years after consideration of a name change first began.

In a post on Facebook, the local council said the name was "hindering plans to develop external economic relations".

That is putting it mildly.

"There is really a negative perception around asbestos", Grimard told CBC News, "We have lost many businesses that don't want to establish themselves here because of the name".

"I have a local development agent who went to OH and he tried to give his business card and people actually didn't even want to take the card", the mayor said. "Ridiculous", said another. "I will always say with pride that I come from Asbestos, and not use the new name". While asbestos is banned in more than 60 countries, many in the town are still attached to the fire-resistant fiber used in home construction, which for decades was the source of well-paying jobs.

In the industrial age it became popular and a huge mining industry sprang up in the eastern townships of Quebec in the 1870's, with the Jeffrey mine becoming the largest asbestos mine in the world and a booming local economy in the 1960's. Despite some investors' reluctance, the city has attracted business to it industrial park, including a duck slaughterhouse and a semi-trailer manufacturer that took advantage of a fund from the provincial government of 50 million Canadian dollars ($37.7 million).

'As citizens are the ambassadors of a municipality and are the representatives of its vitality, it was obvious that the public would be involved in the process and the choice of the new name, ' Grimard is quoted as saying on Fox News.

While it will cost $100,000 to go through with the name change, the Mayor believes the benefits outweigh the costs. Among them: "Saint Asbestos", "The Hole" and "Mine Craft". Others started throwing names and jokes around.

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