Mr. Claude Gravelle (Nickel Belt, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, earlier, the Bloc Québécois member said that people who used to work with asbestos do not all die of cancer caused by it. He is right in that respect, just as smokers do not all die from lung cancer. Earlier, I read a list of Quebec doctors who agree with us that asbestos should be banned.
Could the hon. Bloc Québécois member tell me whether all these doctors are mistaken? No doctor in Quebec knows anything about this? My list did not refer to doctors in geography. I was talking about medical doctors, about scientists. Are all medical doctors in Quebec mistaken?
Mr. André Bellavance:
Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.
I am aware of that. That is why, earlier in my speech, I made a distinction between amphiboles and the various types of asbestos. That is why I quoted André Lalonde, who is a mineralogist and an ore expert. He is not a health specialist but a rock expert. Medical doctors cannot claim to be rock experts. That is what I said earlier.
There are various types of asbestos. We cannot lump them all together and say that this is asbestos, that there is no difference, because that is not true. Amphiboles are now banned. They can no longer be used. Chrysotile is the fibre now being used.
The U.S. Department of Health has made a list of hazardous products. I do not know whether there are any nickel mines in the member's riding, but there are in certain ridings and I know that a huge nickel mine is being planned in the Abitibi region. According to the U.S. Department of Health, nickel is much more toxic than chrysotile, because it ranks 53rd on its list, while chrysotile ranks 119th.
I could provide similar examples, such as lead, uranium, benzene and so on. There are many other products that we produce, export and send abroad, yet I have not heard the NDP speak against them.