THETFORD MINES, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - June 13, 2013) - The Canadian Initiative for the Economic Diversification of Communities Reliant on Chrysotile was today launched by the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, accompanied by the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry, Minister of State (Agriculture) and Member of Parliament for Mégantic-L'Érable. This announcement delivers on the stated Government of Canada priority of Economic Action Plan 2013 to support the economic transition of communities economically linked to the chrysotile asbestos industry.

"The chrysotile asbestos industry has been a major source of employment for many years. With the industry's decline, the communities that have relied on it are looking for ways to diversify their economy and create jobs," said Minister Lebel. "Our Government believes that economic diversification is the key to the future for communities. Today's announcement comes in response to the request for assistance from these communities and testifies to the Government of Canada's determination to do everything it can to strengthen the economy."

For his part, Minister Paradis recalled that, since 2006, the Government of Canada has been a key partner in the development of the region. "Through sound investments, the Government has helped our region not only to survive, but also to thrive. It is in this spirit that our Government will continue supporting our region to meet this new challenge," he added.

In effect until March 31, 2020, the Canadian Initiative for the Economic Diversification of Communities Reliant on Chrysotile, which has a budget of $50 million over seven years, aims to support communities and businesses in the Des Sources and Des Appalaches RCMs in their efforts to make the economic transition to secondary and tertiary sectors.

This initiative is directly related to Canada Economic Development's mission, which is to promote the long-term economic development of the regions of Quebec by giving special attention to those where slow economic growth is prevalent or opportunities for productive employment are inadequate.

"Our Government remains focused on four priorities, as outlined by the Prime Minister, that Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and of course, their personal financial security," concluded Minister Lebel.


The seven-year, $50 million Canadian Initiative for the Economic Diversification of Communities Reliant on Chrysotile will be delivered through Canada Economic Development's current Quebec Economic Development Program.

For more information:

You can also contact Canada Economic Development staff at 1-800-561-0633.

Keep up with the latest news from Canada Economic Development by visiting or subscribing to @CanEconDev on Twitter.

Contact Information:

Media Relations
Canada Economic Development

Marie-Josee Paquette
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Canada Economic Development