After the elections, many want to “put themselves in solution mode” in Rouyn-Noranda | Arsenic Rouyn-Noranda

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After the elections, many want put in solution mode”in Rouyn-Noranda | Arsenic Rouyn-Noranda

Posters, demonstrations and posts on social networks: the population goes there in several ways to express their disagreement with the heavy metal emissions from the Horne Foundry.

Several regional players reacted following the election of caquist Daniel Bernard in Rouyn-Noranda–Témiscamingue, where the question of quality of the air took a prominent place during the election campaign.

The fight was shaping up to be tight in this riding that Québec solidaire and outgoing MP Émilise Lessard-Therrien were trying to keep. The candidate finally lost her bet by a deficit of more than 4,000 votes.

The day after the results were announced, the mayor of Rouyn-Noranda, Diane Dallaire, judged that it was high time for the air quality issue to be depoliticized.

“Now we can really get into solution mode with the elected government. I have already asked Mr. Bernard so that we can organize a meeting as soon as possible. ”

— Diane Dallaire

Welcoming in passing the work of the solidarity Émilise Lessard-Therrien during her mandate, Ms. Dallaire reminds that the City of Rouyn-Noranda will continue its watchdog role in this case.

Dr Frédéric Bonin is a general practitioner in Rouyn-Noranda.

Dr. Frederic Bonin, spokesperson for a group of 65 physicians from Rouyn-Noranda, says he wants to continue to pressure the government to impose tougher thresholds on the Horne Foundry, regardless of which MP represents that riding. in the National Assembly.

“The population has chosen. For us, it changes absolutely nothing. I've always said it's a health issue: it's never been a political issue. We will work with Daniel Bernard and with the CAQ to protect the health of our population.

— Dr. Frederic Bonin

The IMPACT committee and Dr. Bonin are still demanding that the achievement of the Quebec standard for arsenic emissions, i.e. three nanograms per cubic meter of air (ng/m3), be provided for in the next ministerial authorization and that the foundry reaches the 15 nanogram threshold as quickly as possible.

In an earlier version of the text, we wrote that Dr. Bonin laments that the emissions reduction plan proposed by public health is not accompanied by any mention of daily thresholds or other heavy metals emitted by the company . However, he targeted the plan presented by the Ministry of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, of which he wishes to obtain details.

Mireille Vincelette, co-porter -speaker of the citizen committee Stopping toxic discharges and emissions (ARET) of Rouyn-Noranda, recalls that according to the National Institute of Public Health (INSPQ), the safe threshold for children is 15 nanograms of arsenic per cubic meter of air.

For Mireille Vincelette, the standard of 15 ng/m3 must be reached as quickly as possible.

We think we will have to continue to hammer the message. We would like the INSPQ to come out again to take a more decisive position on the deadline for the 15 nanograms, because the message is not completely heard, she says.

Ms. Vincelette also maintains that Daniel Bernard has already shown a certain openness to meeting the members of the committee in the coming weeks.

For his part, Jonathan Tremblay, production operator at the Horne Foundry, hopes that the election of caquiste Daniel Bernard will prevent the company's activities from slowing down or stopping.

We want him to bring everyone to the same table to improve air quality, reduce emissions, keep jobs and keep the economy active in the city, he says. /p>

For Jonathan Tremblay, employees of the Horne Foundry want to be part of the solution to improve the quality of the air in Rouyn-Noranda.

Mr. Tremblay also indicates that most of the workers at the plant are delighted with the victory of the Coalition avenir Québec despite the comments made by François Legault about a possible referendum on the closure of the foundry.


We didn't really take it seriously. I don't think that's really realistic. I think the election sent a pretty clear message: we don't want a shutdown, he argues.

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