The Liberal leader and former Minister of the Economy assures that she never participated in the discussions with the Horne Foundry which led to the renewal of the certificate allowing to exceed the standard of arsenic in the air in Rouyn -Noranda, even in terms of jobs.
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“I was in no way involved in the renewal of the certificate,” said the Liberal leader Sunday morning.
In August 2017, when Ms. Anglade was Minister of the Economy, the company Glencore, owner of the Horne Foundry in Rouyn, submitted its application for renewal of the certificate.
The latter was approved by the Ministry of the Environment three months later. The minister at the time was the current Liberal candidate in Verdun, Isabelle Melançon.
According to this issued renewal, the smelter must meet an arsenic standard of 100 nanograms until November 2021.
The Quebec standard issued by public health is however 3 nanograms.
On Saturday, the chef had cast doubt, only emphasizing that she had never had “discussions that said that we were going to exceed standards that were going to have an impact on the health of the population.”
Had she had economic discussions with the company?
“I did not have a discussion that spoke of renewal of certification. I was at the Economy and it does not affect the economy, ”she pleaded.
His ministry was covered by a mandate from the company Glencore in the Registry of Lobbyists from 2015 to 2019. This allowed the owner of the foundry to make representations to the Ministry of the Economy in order to ensure the maintenance of the license to operate the copper plant.
“The topics covered concern, among other things, the standards (…) for arsenic emissions in the Opinion on arsenic in the ambient air in Rouyn-Noranda”, underlines the document.
“I was not aware that the standard was exceeded at these levels,” said Ms. Anglade, when journalists asked her, in vain, to explain the process that led to this renewal.
“In no case was I involved in it,” she said Friday. She assures that she did not “have any discussion” economic or “in terms of employment” with the company Glencore, at the time.
Since 2004, a notice from the Government of Quebec related to the activities of the foundry underlined “that given the carcinogenic nature of arsenic, the working group considers it necessary to adopt a preventive approach aimed at reducing the most possible the levels the levels of exposure of the population”.
The document, which is now nearly 20 years old, indicates that interventions will have to be carried out to reach a goal of 3 nanograms in the Notre-Dame district, in Rouyn-Noranda.
A recently released 2019 public health report confirmed that citizens of Rouyn were at much higher risk of contracting cancer.
“If this information had been available, as it was for the CAQ, I would have made it transparent,” assured Ms. Anglade.