Cancer data withdrawn by Dr Arruda: “The revelations are very serious”

Cancer data withdrawn by Dr Arruda: “The revelations are very serious”

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According to what Radio-Canada has learned, regional public health knew, as early as September 2019, that the lung cancer mortality rate was higher in Rouyn-Noranda and wanted to notify the population.

Appendix 6 of the report on the Notre-Dame neighborhood biomonitoring study noted these concerns, but at the request of Dr. Arruda, it was not published.

For the Parti Québécois spokesperson for health, Joël Arseneau, these revelations are appalling.

This morning’s (Monday) revelations are serious, very serious. This is shocking news. When we know the role and the confidence that we must have in the national public health department to protect the health, safety and lives of people and that there is such vital information on the possible links between the fumes of arsenic from a smelter and the surrounding community of Rouyn-Noranda […]that this information is withheld from the public on a voluntary basis, I do not understand this decisionhe mentions.

Joël Arseneau, PQ health spokesperson.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Daniel Coulombe

Quebec Liberal Party spokesperson for the environment, Isabelle Melançon, agrees.

I am extremely shocked. Shocked because as for the citizens of Quebec, the legislators that we are in the National Assembly did not have in hand all the information related to the cancer situation in Abitibi-Témiscamingue. »

A quote from Isabelle Melançon, spokesperson for the PLQ in the environment

Ms. Melançon makes the connection between the arsenic file and that of nickel, this metal for which the Quebec government recently authorized an increase in emissions into the atmosphere.

It brings me back to a file in mind, that of the increase in the rate of nickel in the air. Do we have all the information? I’m not sure, I have a doubt. I must tell you that trust is undermined today, when we see that we have been hiding information. I don’t think it was Dr Arruda who wanted Annex 6 to be withdrawn. Me, what I think is that there was political manipulationbelieves the member for Verdun.

PLQ spokesperson for the environment, Isabelle Melançon.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Sylvain Roy Roussel

Isabelle Melançon argues that the revelations concerning Rouyn-Noranda cast doubt on the information that was transmitted to the public in order to justify the increases in nickel levels allowed in the air.

If we had information hidden in 2019, I think we can continue to hide information from us in 2022she argues.

What power for the regional public health departments?

For the MNA for Rouyn-Noranda-Témiscamingue and Québec solidaire spokesperson for the environment, Émilise Lessard-Therrien, it is surprising to see the national director of public health intervening in this way with the regional management of the ‘Abitibi-Témiscamingue.

If our regional public health department deemed it relevant to put this data in its biomonitoring report, I do not understand why the national government got involved and asked them to remove this data, to especially since they are extremely worrying. »

A quote from Émilise Lessard-Therrien, MP for Rouyn-Noranda-Témiscamingue

If we had had this data in 2019, perhaps the population would have taken more action and there would have been more pressure on the government to take quick and concrete action on the file. arsenic, she says.

MNA for Rouyn-Noranda-Témiscamingue and spokesperson for Québec solidaire en environnement, Émilise Lessard-Therrien.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Sylvain Roy Roussel

The spokesperson for the Parti Québécois in turn agrees with his supportive colleague, stressing the importance of exercising caution in matters of public health.

There are reasons to wonder, especially when the regional directors say: “it might be a better idea to retain the precautionary principle”. We would expect the higher decision-making body, the national public health directorate, to retain the precautionary principlesays Joël Arseneau.

No government intervention, says François Legault

According to stakeholders from the three main opposition parties, the two roles occupied by the national director of public health, with that of deputy minister, are not compatible, so that political considerations can influence public health decisions. .

Passing through Estrie on Monday, the Premier of Quebec, François Legault, denied any form of government intervention in the decision not to publish Annex 6 of the report on the biomonitoring study in 2019.

We did not intervene. What I understood from speaking with Dr. Arruda’s team this morning is that he was waiting for more information to be more specific about the risks regarding cancer, but we did not intervene and we did not never intervenes. Public health is completely autonomous. »

A quote from Francois Legault

Prime Minister François Legault denies any intervention by his government in the lung cancer file in Rouyn-Noranda.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Charles Contant

According to Isabelle Melançon, however, the line must be drawn more clearly between public health and the government.

There really needs to be a firewall between politics and public health, something that is not currently the case because unfortunately there is gender confusion. I would like to remind you that the person who is director of public health is also currently deputy minister. The CAQ government has not learned from its mistakes because it has reappointed a new director of public health who is also deputy minister of health, something that does not workshe expresses.

Was there political cover-up? I think the answer is yesadds Isabelle Melançon

Beyond this line between politics and public health, Émilise Lessard-Therrien believes that government decisions are too often motivated by economic motives and are sometimes taken to the detriment of health and the environment.

Two weeks ago, when I asked a question in the House on the arsenic file, the Minister of the Economy replied that it was his ministry that was analyzing Glencore’s plan to reduce its emissions. of arsenic. Why is it not Health? Why is it not Environment? This is further proof that the economic aspect takes precedence over the aspect of health. Right now I have a lot more questions than answersshe concludes.

With the collaboration of Jean-Marc Belzile

Canada.ca/nouvelle/1892601/sante-rouyn-noranda-cancer-arsenic?rand=468″>Source

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