Air quality in Quebec: Sol Zanetti wants answers in the nickel file
On the eve of the election call, the solidarity Sol Zanetti calls for more transparency and concrete actions on the part of public health in the file of nickel in the air in Quebec.
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Last May, our Parliamentary Office revealed that the director of public health, Luc Boileau, intended to analyze new facts in the nickel file in Quebec, such as its presence in the form of pentlandite, a sulphide which could be carcinogenic and which would be present in the air of Limoilou.
Since then, there has been radio silence on this subject from the director of public health. « It’s a position that is untenable, » argues Mr. Zanetti in an interview, who believes that the result of this analysis « could be a turning point. »
In a letter sent to director Luc Boileau, the elected representative of the county of Jean-Lesage is impatient. He calls for more transparency and the results of the analyzes as soon as possible.
« The population is entitled to obtain a scientific opinion supported by you », writes the deputy. Luc Boileau further indicated that despite these analyses, the standard will not be re-evaluated.
“I must tell you that I was extremely surprised and shocked to read in the media that the Minister of the Environment, relying on the position of the General Directorate of Public Health (DGSQ), does not intend to change the standard anyway. Isn’t it completely incoherent to say on the one hand that we will analyze new facts, but that in the end we affirm from the outset that we will not take the results into account? »
Coming into force last April, the new regulation on air quality allows the chemical and mining industries to quintuple the daily emissions of nickel into the air. Mr. Zanetti believes that the recent rapid interventions by general management in Rouyn-Noranda in the arsenic file show that it can play its role properly and take on its responsibilities.
“Your action on the air pollution file in Quebec also contrasts with your action on the Rouyn-Noranda file. In fact, your action on the nickel file recalls that of your predecessor on the arsenic file. He behaved more like a deputy minister than a director of public health, ”plagues the elected official.
The Ministry of Health maintains that the work of the Directorate General for Public Health “has recently focused on analyzes of the impacts of emissions from the Horne Foundry”. But, « as soon as possible », the organization assures that « in a constant concern to prioritize health » the information will be analyzed.