Quebec Premier François Legault says all options are on the table, including closing the Horne smelter, to protect the health of the people of Rouyn-Noranda.
In Repentigny, Quebec. Tuesday to present the former journalist and former Conservative federal candidate Pascale Déry, who will be the CAQ candidate in the riding of the same name, the Prime Minister did not hide that his first objective is to preserve the 650 jobs at the foundry.
However, he has repeatedly stated in English that although these are very good and well-paid jobs, his government will not maintain them if it is shown that the health of the population is at risk due to emissions. of arsenic from the smelter. .
The smelter emits arsenic particles up to 33 times the provincial standard. Several health problems have been identified in various studies of the local population and the Director of Public Health, Dr. Luc Boileau, is in Rouyn-Noranda this week to assess the situation.
Legault also indicated that his government is ready to financially support the owner of the smelter, Glencore, to make the necessary changes to reduce its emissions, despite the record profits recorded by the Anglo-Swiss multinational.
But he said such government assistance would have to be less than the impact of employee wages and other benefits generated by Horne smelter operations.
— This report from The Canadian Press was first published in French on July 5, 2022.